Will Your Social Security Disability Benefits Last Forever?

Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are paid out to individuals who have been approved for benefits following completion of required paperwork, accompanied by specific and thorough medical documentation. However, many people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits often question whether such approval enables them to receive their SSDI payment benefits forever.

The answer to that question is not always cut and dry. In most cases, Social Security Disability Insurance is available to beneficiaries for an unspecified period, and in some cases, many people do receive SSDI benefits for the rest of their lives. In other cases, for example if you have a closed period disability case (which means that you are expected to return to work after a year of disability), benefits may cease.

The main problem is that the Social Security Administration doesn't typically assume that any medical condition will continue to be disabling enough to prevent a person from working in some capacity for the rest of their life. For example, many medical conditions stabilize or improve over time. In other cases, an individual who is unable to return to their former place of employment may find employment that requires less physical or mental strain. In yet other scenarios, SSDI beneficiaries may succeed in adapting their lifestyle and functions to the point where they can hold down some type of job.

Continuing Disability Reviews

Continuing Disability Reviews, (also known as CDRs) are medical reviews performed by the Social Security Administration to determine whether an individual's disability continues to be as disabling as it was at the beginning of their benefits period. In addition to continuing disability reviews, the Social Security Administration may also perform financial reviews to ensure that beneficiaries continue to meet requirements for financial eligibility.

Any individual who is able to work in any capacity is strongly encouraged to reconsider their eligibility status, and to contact their local Social Security office for advice and guidance. In some cases, Social Security Disability Insurance payments may be reduced, but this option is certainly better than receiving overpayment notices by the Social Security Administration for the return of already paid-out funds. Continuing disability reviews are often performed every one to three years. Typical cases are reviewed approximately every three to five years.

Tips for Beneficiaries Undergoing the Continuing Disability Process

If you've been notified that your case will undergo a continuing review, it's important for beneficiaries to show some form of continuing medical treatment or supervision for their condition. Supportive documentation from your primary care provider is important for this review process.

In short, ensure that your doctor continually updates your medical records to prove ongoing medical care or supervision so that you'll have adequate medical documentation to present the review board. Even when conditions are stable or static, undergo regular medical checkups so your medical records will continually show continuity and continuation of care. After their SSDI approval and benefits are offered, many people fail to do so, and place their SSDI benefits in jeopardy.