Diary Date

When a Social Security Disability applicant is approved for disability benefits, the recipient must undergo periodic reviews of their disability case. These reviews are intended to ensure that the recipient is still disabled and continues to meet the ongoing requirements in order to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

When the recipient is approved for Social Security Disability benefits, a medical diary is set up for the recipient. Once the recipient has received their first review, a diary date is set up for the next continuing disability review. The reason behind these diary dates is to determine whether or not a disability recipient's condition has improved at the time of each diary date. If no improvement is noted and the recipient is still determined to be disabled, no change will be made to the individual's Social Security Disability benefits. If, however, the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines that an improvement has occurred and the individual can return to performing substantial gainful activity, the individual's disability benefits will stop.

When a diary date results in a continuing disability review and that review that finds that an applicant's condition has improved and the individual can return to work, the Social Security Disability payments do not stop immediately. The applicant is given three months of continuing disability payments to provide them with enough time to find a job and make the adjustment to work activity.

How often these diary dates occur depends on the severity of the individual's condition and how likely it is that the condition will improve at some point in the future. If there is little to no likelihood of improvement, the recipient's diary dates are normally set seven years apart. If, however, there is a chance for improvement of the recipient's disabling condition, the individual's diary dates may be set three years apart or even less.

While you do have to cooperate with your continuing eligibility reviews and the diary dates that are set for you, you should not worry that a review will result in the termination of your disability benefits unless a significant improvement has been made to your condition. In order to terminate your Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA must be able to prove that you have experienced a drastic improvement to your condition.