Social security benefits applicationSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded federal insurance program that pays monthly benefits to workers who can no longer hold a job due to a significant illness or impairment. Once you've applied for SSDI and been approved for benefits, you won't have to reapply. However, you may be subject to periodic Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) to determine whether your eligibility has changed. Here's what you need to know about CDRs and how Keefe Disability Law's exceptional Boston SSDI attorneys can help if the Social Security Administration (SSA) tries to end your benefits.

SSDI Eligibility

Disabled individuals who have a medically determinable impairment that prevents them from working or participating in substantial gainful employment for 12 months or more may qualify for SSDI, provided that they also have sufficient work credits. (This means that the applicant has worked in jobs that pay into Social Security long enough to amass 40 work credits, 20 of which were earned in the last ten years; younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.)

Once approved, you can continue to collect benefits for as long as you have a qualifying disability. However, there are several reasons your eligibility could potentially change over time, such as significant improvement in your condition or returning to work and earning more than the substantial gainful activity limit. (What constitutes substantial gainful activity fluctuates with changes in the national average wage index; in 2022, it was $1,350 per month for most individuals and $2,260 per month for statutorily blind applicants.)

Understanding Continuing Disability Review (CDR) Frequency 

Anyone who receives SSDI benefits must submit to periodic CDRs. How often the reviews are required depends largely on whether your medical impairment is expected to improve. For example, if the improvement is expected, the SSA will typically initiate a CDR within six to 18 months of your approval for benefits. When improvement is possible, but not necessarily anticipated, CDRs are generally requested every three years. Finally, when improvement isn't expected, the SSA will review your claim for continued eligibility every seven years or so.

What to Expect During Your CDR 

You won't be expected to keep track of how often your claim needs review; the SSA will notify you by mail when a CDR is required. The disability review is a short interview at your local Social Security field office, during which you'll need to provide:

  • Information on your medical condition and day-to-day limitations
  • Contact information for your doctors and any medical facilities where you've received treatment 
  • Contact information for your employer if you've worked since being approved for SSDI benefits 

The above information is sent to the same Disability Determination Services (DDS) office that was responsible for reviewing your initial application. DDS will inform you of its decision in writing by mail. Provided that your medical condition remains severe enough to prevent work (or substantial gainful activity), your monthly SSDI payments should continue. 

What to Do If Informed Your SSDI Benefits Will End 

Received a notification that your SSDI benefits will cease and believe the decision was made in error? Contact the knowledgeable and experienced Social Security disability attorneys with Keefe Disability Law immediately. Our adept lawyers will review your claim and the information you provided during your CDR for mistakes or omissions that may be to blame and work to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

Request a Consultation 

Ready to find out how Keefe Disability Law's accomplished team of Boston attorneys can help you hang on to the SSDI benefits you need and deserve? Complete our online contact form or call 508-283-5500 (toll-free 888-904-6847) to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation. For additional information, request our complimentary report, 7 Costly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer