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Full Disability Review (And How To Survive It)


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Before you get too nervous, if you receive a notice as part of a Continuing Disability Review that Social Security wants to conduct a Full Medical Review, keep in mind that over 90% of people who have a Continuing Disability Review are permitted to continue to receive benefits. 

Continuing disability reviews are one of the reasons to make sure you report all of your symptoms at every visit to your doctor, and that the symptoms are recorded in your medical record. 

Below is information about the Full Disability Review Process.

There are steps to take to maximize your chances of continuing to receive SSDI. See: Steps To Take To Maximize Chances Of Continuing To Receive Social Security Disability.  Also review Overall Tips To Keep In Mind.  

In the unlikely event that an investigator attempts to interview you, see If An Investigator Comes Calling

The Full Disability Review Process

The review starts with a request for you to contact Social Security for an interview with a representative in person or on the telephone.  

At the interview, the Social Security representative will complete form SSA-454-BK. (For a copy of the form, and advice about how to answer the interviewer's questions, see SSA-454-BK

Your file will then be turned over to the state agency that determines medical eligibility, usually known as Disability Determination Service (DDS.) 

The DDS Disability Evaluation Analyst adds the new information to the information already on file from when you first applied. In addition to updating their information about you, the Analyst will look to see if there has been any improvement in your condition. If there has been no change, that's the end of it -- your benefits continue uninterrupted. You are permitted to provide statements and affidavits from friends, family and (if you've been working) co-workers. 

If there has been some improvement, the Disability Evaluation Analyst may want new questionnaires completed by both you and your doctor to see if the improvement was sufficient for you to no longer be considered disabled.  

The Analyst will continue reviewing, getting documents, and requesting questionnaires until s/he can tell whether you are still disabled or if your claim will be stopped. 

For information about what happens at the end of a Full Disability Review, see:

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