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Steps To Take To Maximize Chances of Continuing To Receive SSDI


Keep in mind that, just like the initial filing, it is up to you to prove that you continue to be disabled. Therefore you should be an active participant in the process. If the ruling goes against you, your SSDI income will be cut off.

The start of the process: It is likely you will receive a letter in the mail enclosing form SSA-454-BK -- "Report of Continuing Disability Interview".

Interview in Person: You will then have a choice to complete the form in an interview with a Social Security representative on the telephone, or in person. It is recommended that you request an in person interview.

While the Social Security representative will officially complete the form by typing the answers into the computer, there are many advantages to completing the form ahead of time as a worksheet, and obtaining the back-up information yourself that Social Security will require.

Initial Documents and forms: Pull out the forms and other documents you submitted when you first applied for SSDI. That information becomes the starting point for the information to be supplied for the review.

Form SSA-454-BK is the form the Social Security representative completes at the interview. It is strongly recommended that you complete the form prior to the interview as a worksheet to help you pull all your information together, make sure you don't leave anything out, and to make your answers consistent. The form and advice for completing it are at: SSA-454-BK.


Complete a Daily Activities and a Work Worksheet.

Take the worksheet(s) with you to the interview and ask that they be included as part of your file

Two types of each worksheet are included here, one of which only requests general information and the other requests very detailed information. You can choose which worksheet to use depending on how you view your chances of being determined to still be disabled from a medical point of view.

General Type Worksheets:

Detailed Worksheets

Contact your doctor(s)

  • Let your doctor know your SSDI status is being reviewed and be sure s/he supports your claim that you are still disabled. Perhaps the doctor believes you can work if you receive an accommodation or receive some kind of help. If you're not familiar with the concept of an "accommodation" see Work.
  • Give your doctor a copy of your Daily Activity and Work worksheets.
  • Ask your doctor to write a medical report about your condition and how it continues to affect you. Be sure to ask the doctor to include all your illnesses and injuries, including those that appeared after you filed your original claim for SSDI, and to be specific about how your daily and work activities are affected by your symptoms and medications.
  • Ask if you can have input to a draft of your doctor's report, or to at least see the final copy before it is submitted to Social Security.
  • Request a copy of your medical records for the period since you received your SSDI award, or for at least the last 12 months. Find out when the soonest you can receive the report and a copy of your medical records, so you can take them to your interview.
  • If you can't get the medical report or medical records in time to submit them at your interview, ask that the date of the interview be postponed and tell the Representative why you're requesting the postponement. Keep pushing the doctor for the report and medical record to submit as soon as you can. If you can't get them in time for the meeting, go ahead with the meeting and keep pushing the doctor to get this information as soon as possible.

Obtain affidavits or statements from family, friends and (if you've been working) from co-workers, that support you continuing inability to do work on a regular and continuing basis, and submit them at the interview -- or as soon after that as you can.

If you need advice or help during this process, ask for it. See Hiring a Representative or ask a friend or family member to help.

The interview with the Social Security representative

  • Don't worry about how to dress for the interview. Just don't look like you're ready to run a triathlon.
  • At the meeting, remember you're dealing with a human being. Try to make that person into a friend. Get the interviewer's direct phone number. If the name is unusual, ask the correct way to spell the name, and how to pronounce it.
  • Give the representative:
    • a copy of your worksheet(s),
    • any statements or affidavits you have from friends, family or co-workers,
    • a statement from your physician and
    • a copy of your medical records.

Get a receipt for all papers you deliver to Social Security, and be sure to keep a copy for your files.

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