Navigating Continuing Disability Reviews for SSD/SSI Claims: A Comprehensive Guide


Navigating the intricacies of Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims can be a complex and overwhelming process. Once your claim has been approved and you start receiving benefits, it's important to understand that the journey doesn't end there. Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) are a critical aspect of the SSD/SSI program, ensuring that individuals who receive benefits remain eligible based on their current medical and financial circumstances. In this guide, we'll delve into the key aspects of Continuing Disability Reviews and provide you with valuable insights and guidance.

Understanding Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs)

Continuing Disability Reviews are periodic evaluations conducted by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine whether beneficiaries of SSD and SSI are still eligible for their benefits. These reviews aim to ensure that individuals receiving assistance still meet the medical and non-medical requirements necessary for maintaining their disability status.

Frequency of CDRs

The frequency of CDRs can vary based on the severity of the recipient's condition and the likelihood of medical improvement. Generally, CDRs fall into three categories:

  • Medical Improvement Expected (MIE): Beneficiaries who are expected to experience improvement in their condition undergo reviews every six to eighteen months.
  • Medical Improvement Possible (MIP): Recipients with conditions that could potentially improve but at a slower rate are subject to reviews every three years.
  • Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE): Those with severe and long-term disabilities may undergo a review every five to seven years.

Preparing for a CDR

Being proactive and prepared is crucial when facing a Continuing Disability Review. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Maintain Detailed Medical Records: Keep a comprehensive record of all medical treatments, therapies, medications, and doctor visits. These records will provide the necessary documentation of your condition's status.
  2. Notify the SSA of Changes: If there are any changes in your condition, financial situation, living arrangements, or employment status, make sure to inform the SSA promptly. Failure to do so might result in overpayments or benefits being discontinued.
  3. Attend Medical Appointments and Follow Medical Advice: Consistently attend medical appointments and adhere to treatment plans to demonstrate your commitment to managing your disability.
  4. Respond Promptly: If you receive a review notice, respond promptly with accurate and up-to-date information. Delays or incomplete responses could lead to benefits being discontinued.

Navigating the Review Process

During a CDR, the SSA assesses whether you still meet the disability criteria. This includes evaluating medical records, treatment plans, and any changes in your medical condition. Non-medical factors such as income, employment status, and living situation are also considered.

If Your Benefits Are Stopped

If your benefits are discontinued following a CDR, contact Social Security immediately to file an appeal, as there are strict deadlines for filing an appeal. Seek legal assistance from an experienced disability attorney who can guide you through the appeals process and help you reinstate your benefits.


Continuing Disability Reviews are a vital part of the SSD/SSI program, ensuring that benefits are distributed appropriately to those who continue to meet the eligibility requirements. By staying informed, maintaining accurate records, and promptly responding to review notices, you can navigate the CDR process with confidence.