AP NEWS

How Social Security decides qualifying disabilities

March 28, 2019

BALTIMORE MD — Social Security is required by law to review, from time to time, the current medical condition of all people receiving disability benefits to make sure they continue to have a qualifying disability. Generally, if a person’s health hasn’t improved, or if their disability still keeps them from working, they will continue to receive their benefits.

These continuing disability reviews help Social Security ensure that only eligible people receive disability benefits. It supports the integrity of the Social Security system while delivering fair services to wounded warriors, chronically ill children and adults, and other people with disabilities.

To help make the decision, Social Security first gathers new information about an individual’s medical condition. The person’s doctors, hospitals, and other medical sources will be asked to provide medical records.

Social Security will ask them how their medical condition limits their activities, what their medical tests show, and what medical treatments they’ve been given. If Social Security needs more information, people will be asked to get a special examination or test, for which Social Security will pay.

If Social Security decides a person’s disability benefits will stop, and the person disagrees, the individual can appeal the decision. That means a person can ask Social Security to look at their case again. When an individual receives a letter telling them about the Social Security decision, the letter will tell the individual how to appeal the decision.

For more detail about how Social Security decides if a person still has a qualifying disability, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10053.pdf.

People can also check the status of their disability application with a personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. This secure account gives people access to many tools that can save them time.

For more information about how Social Security is securing today and tomorrow, visit www.socialsecurity.gov.