Great news from the Biden administration for Social Security Disability recipients.
Last week, President Joe Biden withdrew a Trump administration rule that required more frequent Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR).
The Social Security Administration places SSDI beneficiaries into three categories based upon the severity of their condition and their prognosis. They are “Medical Improvement Expected,” “Medical Improvement Possible,” and “Medical Improvement Not Expected.”
The predicted likelihood for improvement then determines the frequency of disability reviews.
These reviews happen every 3 to 7 years depending upon your classification.
The Trump rule would have added a new classification, “Medical Improvement Likely,” and singled out as many as 4.4 million recipients between the ages of 50 and 65 to prove they were still disabled at least every TWO years.
The new classification rule prompted much outcry and had little scientific basis since people’s conditions generally deteriorate as they age.
Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking member of the Senate Finance committee, labeled the new requirement as "harassment of people with disabilities."
What is a Continuing Disability Review?
The idea of a CDR is daunting, especially after a long and hard-fought battle to obtain benefits. If your status is not "Medical Improvement Not Likely," you must fill out a Continuing Disability Review Report which is 10 pages long along with medical evidence from the past 12 months.
Generally, the review will cover the previous year, although the SSA can look back to the point when you were initially granted benefits.
Once you send in this report, the SSA will conduct a full medical review of your case. This process typically takes 5 to 6 months or longer.
If you receive a CDR from the SSA and do not respond to it by the stated deadline, then your Social Security disability benefits will be terminated.
While protecting the system is an admirable goal, doing so at the expense of the disabled and vulnerable was not the way to go.
Numerous congressional hearings and investigations have not uncovered widespread abuse of SSDI, and the process is already chock full of red tape.
In our experience, these “Continuing Disability Reviews” are often used to stop benefits to some truly disabled people, forcing disabled individuals to fight again for the benefits they need – which are often reapproved after going through the process again causing a waste of government resources.
This proposal was an unreasonable strain on disabled individuals who were already struggling to survive with no real benefit to the government's bottom line. This change was a great decision.