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Reviewing your medical condition

All people receiving disability benefits must have their medical conditions reviewed from time to time. Your benefits will continue unless there is strong proof that your condition has improved medically and that you are able to return to work.

Frequency of reviews

How often your medical condition is reviewed depends on how severe its and the likelihood it will improve. Your award notice tells you when you can expect your first review.

  • Medical improvement expected - if your condition is expected to improve within a specific time, your first review will be six to18 months after you started getting disability benefits.
  • Improvement possible - if improvement in your medical condition is possible, your case will be reviewed about every three years.
  • Improvement not expected - if your medical condition is unlikely to improve, your case will be reviewed only about once every five to seven years.

What happens during a review?

Social Security will send you a letter telling you that they will conduct a review. Soon after that, someone from your local Social Security office will contact you to explain the review process and your appeal rights. The Social Security representative will ask you to provide information about your medical treatment and any work that you may have done.

A team consisting of a disability examiner and a doctor will review your file and request your medical reports. You may be asked to have special examination. Social Security will pay for the examination and some of your transportation costs.

When a decision is made, they will send you a letter. If Social Security decides that you still are disabled, your benefits will continue.

If Social Security decides you no longer are disabled and you disagree, you can file an appeal. If you decide not to appeal the decision, your benefits will stop three months after they decide that your disability ended.

For more information, ask for Your Right To Question The Decision To Stop Your Disability Benefits (Publication No.05-10090).

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration