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New proposal could affect SSD benefits for millions

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The process for obtaining Social Security benefits is often an arduous one, and some people in Charlotte may find it takes years before they are finally approved. While approval for benefits is certainly a victory, a proposal published in the Federal Register in November has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of SSD benefit recipients in our nation who may face the risk of losing their benefits.

Currently, after a person is approved for SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration will periodically review the recipient’s medical condition to determine if benefits are still necessary. These are known as continuing disability reviews. How often CDRs are performed depends on the category the recipient’s disability falls under.

However, the proposal would add a new category of review that would increase how often a CDR will be performed. The proposal would also change how often the SSA will perform a CDR for those with permanent impairments and it will revise the criteria used to assess which medical category a person’s disability falls under.

As the law currently stands, the SSA assigns one of three categories to a recipient’s medical condition when it comes to CDRs: “medical improvement possible,” “medical improvement expected” and “medical improvement not expected.” The proposal would add a new category to this list: “medical improvement likely.” That category could have an impact on 4.4 million individuals who currently receive benefits, who would have a CDR performed every two years under the new category.

Public comment on the proposal has been extended to January 31, 2020, so there is still time for members of the public to weigh in on the proposal. Whether this proposal will pass remains to be seen, but it is important for recipients of SSD benefits to understand how any changes will affect them, so they can speak out accordingly if they feel doing so is appropriate.

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