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Continuing disability reviews (CDRs) Rule Change May Cause People to Lose Benefits

January 15, 2020

By Shelley W. Elovitz, Esquire

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a proposal “to revise our rules regarding when and how often we conduct continuing disability reviews (CDRs). The proposed regulations would add a new category to our existing medical diary categories that we use to schedule CDRs and would revise the criteria we follow to place a case in each of the categories. They would also change how often we perform a CDR for claims with the medical diary category for permanent impairments. These revised regulations would ensure that we continue to identify medical improvement at its earliest point and remain up to date with current research.”

Frequently Asked Questions regarding continuing disability reviews (CDRs) and the new rules

Has this rule continuing disability reviews (CDRs) been enacted yet?

No. At this time, the rule is being proposed and the government is taking comments from the public until January 31, 2020. Rothman Gordon will continue to monitor this legislation and will post updates.

What would this rule mean for someone receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

Currently, applying for Social Security Disability is a long, difficult process and recipients are already subject to continuing disability reviews (CDRs). This rule would mean an additional review category would be created where cases are reviewed every two years. This will result in more paperwork, more delays, and most concerning, more people losing benefits they have already fought to obtain.

What should I do if I am currently receiving benefits?

While this is, in effect, a back door to reduce people’s benefits, Rothman Gordon, throughout our proceedings and after, counsel our clients that even after obtaining benefits, they must continue to treat and tell their doctors that they are still suffering.

Can the Social Security Administration take away my benefits?

Yes, the Social Security Administration CAN take away the benefits you fought so hard to obtain. However, it is the SSA’s burden to show improvement and thus a reason to remove benefits. We know that having a good day here and there does not outweigh the continual deterioration in a disabled person’s daily activities.  If clients continue to follow our guidelines, then it will be difficult, but not impossible, for the SSA to satisfy its burden of proof. We caution our clients to always expect SSA will try to cut benefits through their continuing review of disability status.

If you have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, contact us online or call (412) 338-1152.

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