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Social Security Proposing Changes to Continuing Disability Reviews


Citing a need to tighten up its efficiency in identifying medical improvement of those receiving SSI and SSDI the Social Security Administration recently published its proposal to make changes to its policy on conducting Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR).

CDRs are the agency’s way of checking in with beneficiaries every so often to see if they still meet the standards for what SSA would consider ‘disabled’. If medical improvement is seen the recipient can expect to no longer be eligible for benefits. At present a beneficiary will fall under one of three categories of disability depending on their condition and the likelihood of that medical improvement. Right now those categories are Medical Improvement Expected (MIE); Medical Improvement Possible (MIP); and Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE). Those is the MIE category can expect a review every six to eighteen months; those in MIP will get a review every three years or so; and those in the latter category may get their CDR papers every five to seven years.

If Social Security get their way, and it is not yet determined that that will be the case, a new category will be added: Medical Improvement Likely (MIL). For those who meet the criteria for MIL they can expect a review every two years. Due to the addition of the category there will also be a shuffling of the pack in deciding which conditions fall into each category. In arguments for this change Social Security also records that since changes were last made to CDRs in the 1990s certain conditions that were considered terminal or permanent at that time are no longer as such due to medical advances; therefore certain conditions that would once have been categorized as MINE may now fall under the MIE umbrella. In order to catch medical improvement in a timely manner a third proposed change would see the MINE review ‘diary’ change to a 6 year cycle.

As stated above, these changes are only in the proposal stage and may not come to fruition. For those who wish to read the full proposal and who may wish to comment you can go here:https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/11/18/2019-24700/rules-regarding-the-frequency-and-notice-of-continuing-disability-reviews