How often will one’s disability case be reviewed?

Receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be the financial lifeline many individuals need to provide for themselves when they can no longer work, regardless of what U.S. state they live in. Of course, individuals with a disabling injury or illness want to make sure they keep receiving these benefits, as long as they are needed. However, an individual’s case will be reviewed periodically to ensure they still qualify for benefits.

In general, so long as an individual meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability, that individual will continue to receive benefits. But, per law, the SSA is required to review an individual’s case periodically to determine if that individual continues to have a disability that warrants receiving benefits. How often such a disability review will take place depends on the propensity of the individual’s medical condition to improve.

If it is “expected” that an individual’s medical condition may improve that individual’s case will be reviewed between six to 18 months after that individual begins receiving benefits. If it is “possible” that an individual’s medical condition may improve, that individual’s case not be reviewed until at least three years have passed. If it is “not expected” that an individual’s medical condition may improve that individual’s case will not be reviewed until at least seven years have passed.

As such, if an individual’s medical condition improves so much that the individual no longer meets the SSA’s definition of disabled, that individual’s benefits may cease. In addition to the SSA’s periodic reviews, it is important for individuals to let the SSA know if their health improves to the point that they can go back to work to avoid any negative consequences that may come if the SSA determines that individual was wrongfully receiving benefits.

Source: SSA.gov, “Disability Planner: Reviewing Your Disability,” accessed on June 26, 2016