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Understanding the SSDI review process

Once people are approved to receive Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA will periodically review their situation to ensure they are still eligible for benefits. The beneficiary’s condition could improve and people may be able to return to work, which may terminate their benefits. Other people with permanent disabilities will receive long-term benefits. It is crucial that people who are receiving SSDI benefits fully understand the review process so that they can give an accurate interpretation of their current health and disability. If the wrong information is portrayed, it could cause the SSA to make an erroneous decision and prematurely end a person’s benefits.

Depending on what type of disability the beneficiary has, the SSA may choose to review the case more often or less frequently. If the disability is expected to improve rather quickly, the case may be reviewed in as little as six to 18 months following approval. A more severe disability, however, may be reviewed every seven years.  

As part of the review, the administration will contact the beneficiaries’ physicians and other medical professionals to get information regarding the disability. They will also contact any employers if the benefits recipient has worked since receiving disability benefits. If there is a question as to the beneficiaries’ current health status or if disabled workers have not had a recent physical, the SSA may require them to have an examination. When the administration makes a decision as to whether the SSDI recipient can continue receiving benefits or will have the benefits discontinued, the beneficiary can appeal if he or she disagrees with the final outcome. 

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