July 10, 2019

How Do CDRs Affect Your Social Security Disability Benefits?

After the time and effort to receive approval for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (2-3 years for many people), it can be worrisome to learn that your monthly income may be halted.

This is the possibility when the Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts a continuing disability review (CDR).

What is a CDR? Former workers receiving disability benefits at some point may receive a letter and questionnaire from SSA regarding an in-depth review of their current work activity and/or medical condition.

Are there different kinds of CDRs? There are two types of CDRS: a work continuing disability review and a medical continuing disability review.

What’s the difference in CDRs? With a work review, SSA examines a person’s earnings to determine if the SSDI beneficiary is earning more than substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2019, this dollar amount is $1,220 per month for non-blind recipients and $2,040 per month for blind recipients. The second type is a medical review used by SSA to determine if an individual has experienced medical improvement and no longer qualifies to receive disability benefits.

How often do CDRs happen? Timing varies from person to person. Generally, the frequency of medical CDRs is based on the severity of a person’s condition, with some happening within 1-2 years of approval, while other people may have 3 years or longer before they experience a CDR. Failure to respond to SSA’s letter and questionnaire can result in discontinuation of benefits.

Is it true that there’s no way to prevent a CDR? This is not true. One way to receive protection from a CDR is to participate in the Ticket to Work program. Many individuals who are motivated to return to work can receive protection from a CDR by signing up for the Ticket program. Individuals in this program receive a number of incentives and protections while they attempt to work again over the course of several years. It’s also possible to restart your SSDI benefits if you’re unable to maintain work due to your disability.

What do I do if my benefits were ceased from a CDR? If the SSA discontinues benefits, individuals can appeal. The appeal should be filed within 60 days by completing a Request for Reconsideration form. Generally, this involves a face-to-face hearing with a disability hearing officer.

If returning to work is a priority for you, consider getting CDR protection. Visit Allsup Employment Services online or call (866) 540-5105 to learn more and receive free return to work assistance.

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