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Blog: Signs of a pending review for CDR

Although often not considered an official review, when the SSA sends a beneficiary an SSA Form 455, this means a starting review of sorts is in fact taking place. This first step generally occurs when the SSA diaried the beneficiary’s matter for review at the time of award.

This diary date is based on the possibility of medical improvement. The time frames, are often one, three or seven years from the time of award and thereafter. However, they are subject to change.

Possible full CDR triggers

The preliminary review is to determine if the beneficiary has experienced a meaningful change in circumstances warranting a further review. If the form indicates any of the following, a CDR may more likely result:

  • the beneficiary has seen improvement in health,

  • the beneficiary’s doctor has suggested the beneficiary may be able to return to some sort of work

  • the beneficiary has not seen a doctor in a long time

  • the beneficiary started working

  • the beneficiary is earning above the SGA levels

When a beneficiary completes the form, the SSA may request updated medical records to compare the current records to the answers provided on the form as well as records in the old case file.

Positive steps a beneficiary can take

A beneficiary can best serve him or herself by ordering a copy of the old file from the SSA. The beneficiary has a right to a copy and should insist upon getting it. It will likely come on an encrypted CD. The form answers should be consistent with the current medical records where indicated and not inconsistent with the old file.

Ideally, the beneficiary has actively monitored his SSD/SSI status over the months or years since award or last CDR. This may help ensure any evidence existing from past couple of years is exactly what supports his or her ongoing claim, because one cannot typically develop past evidence, only present or future evidence.

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