Review categories for medical conditions important to understand

Knowledge of the qualification and review process for Social Security Disability benefits is important to those disabled and unable to work. Social Security Disability benefits and eligibility depend on medical criteria to qualify. Some recipients of Social Security Disability or those considering making a claim for disability benefits may wonder how to qualify and how often their disability will be reviewed. The frequency at which a medical condition will be reviewed depends on how severe the medical condition is and how long the medical condition is expected to last. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, a medical condition must be expected to persist longer than a 12-month period and the medical condition must prevent performance of normal job functions.

There are three categories into which a medical condition can fall and time periods for review that accompany each of those categories. One category is referred to as “medical improvement expected”; for those whose medical condition is expected to improve during a certain period of time, a review of the medical condition for the purpose of disability benefits can be anticipated six to eighteen months after the receipt of benefits begins. If the medical condition falls in the category of “medical improvement possible,” the medical condition will be reviewed approximately every three years after the receipt of benefits begins.

Lastly, if a medical condition is not expected to improve at any point, the labeled category for the recipient is “medical improvement not expected” and the medical condition of the recipient will be reviewed approximately every five to seven years. Sometimes it may be necessary to fight for Social Security Disability benefits, such as in some cases of denied claims or if benefits have been terminated. Many individuals suffering from diseases and illnesses rely on Social Security Disability benefits when disabled.

Because of the importance of SSD benefits to many individuals faced with debilitating diseases and illnesses, which prevent them from working, it is important to thoroughly understand the Social Security Disability process and the rights individuals have throughout the process.

Source: Asbury Park Press, “Social Security: How often will disability be reviewed?” July 20, 2014