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| |-+  Continuing Disability Reviews
| | |-+  The Dreaded CDR
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Topic: The Dreaded CDR  (Read 10787 times)
Kittyholic
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The Catwhisperer


« on: December 05, 2011, 12:12:39 PM »

There have been so many posts recently from people who have begun to worry about their CDR before the ink is even dry on their Award letter. For many this is because they were approved for something different than what they thought their worst disability to be. For others it is because of the Medical Improvement diary.

Whatever the reason, worry will do you more harm than good. So we asked Different Perspective to tell you a little more about the CDR process. For those of you that don't know, Different Perspective was once a DDS examiner, so his insight is a great asset to our members. And, I believe this article will help alleviate some of your worries and anxiety. I know you will all join me in thanking him for the time he took to write this for everyone:
---------------------------------------------
FEAR

Fear is an amazing thing.  It can save lives – think fight or flight.  It can paralyze and kill – think deer in the headlights.  It can eat one alive – think ulcers. 

There are two ways to overcome fear: knowledge and action.  There has been a noticeable increase in the number of posts dealing with the fears of the CDR process.  I have wanted to offer some ideas but was stopped by my fear.  Fear that the post would be too long, fear that I could not be able to make the very technical process simple enough to be understood.  Recently a private email prompted me to address my fears.  I have done a little research and am now ready to take action.

Let’s start with the basics.  There is absolutely nothing that could be better for the disabled than to have health restored and be able to live a normal life.  Fortunately, each year there are new medical treatments that dramatically improve health.  All disabling conditions are not permanent and, fortunately, many people whose conditions met the SSA standard of disability yesterday have their health improved and are able to return to gainful employment.   

Someone who meets a Listing for kidney failure may receive a new kidney that functions near normal.  Should the people who pay the SSDI premium, or the taxpayer at large, who pays for SSI payments, continue to give money to people who can work?  Congress, and I dare say, most citizens do not think so.  Because of this Congress mandated the CDR (Continuing Disability Review) process, a program designed to identify those whose condition had improved to the point that they can now work.

In the past there were atrocious examples of, mostly mentally disabled, people who were cut off but who, obviously, were incapable of gainful employment.  This is ancient history and will not be discussed except to say that Congress stepped in and had SSA implement the MIRS or Medical Improvement Review Standard.  That standard acknowledged that the beneficiary/recipient of a SSDI/SSI check was disabled at the time they were allowed and that the only way benefits could be ceased was through due process. 

Under MIRS, a person would not have their check stopped unless there was demonstrated medical improvement of the condition(s) that caused the person to be considered disabled in the first place.  In addition, that improvement must be related to the ability to perform work related tasks.  (A person who weighed 400+ pounds when allowed but had bypass surgery and only weighed 300 pounds at the CDR had medical improvement but did it really affect the ability to perform work tasks?)  It should also be noted here that to receive benefits, the applicant must prove the disabling condition meets SSA standards.  The CDR process requires SSA to prove the person is no longer disabled.  The burden of proof shifts from the person receiving a check to the SSA.

There is much concern about why an applicant is allowed – the fact that the applicant alleged one condition and was allowed for another.  For reasons of efficiency, both to reduce processing costs and to get a check to the disabled as quickly as possible, SSA, through the State Agency, stops development of a case as soon as a fully favorable decision can be made.  See https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0424505030  If SSA cannot prove the condition(s) that originally determined as disabling has not shown medical improvement related to the ability to perform work related tasks then development is stopped and the check is continued.

If the condition(s) that originally allowed has improved, other steps must be taken before the check can be stopped.  See https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0428005010 for the CDR Sequential Evaluation process.  Basically, if one gets through medical improvement state, the case proceeds like an initial case. 

Questions have been asked about subsequent medical conditions that have arisen and how this will affect the CDR process.  In most cases the new condition(s) will have absolutely no affect on the process.  Why?  Because SSA will not be able to show medical improvement related to the ability to perform work activities in the original condition(s) that caused the person to meet SSA standards of disability.  If, and only if, the original condition(s) are proven to have improved will the new condition(s) be considered. 

Another item of concern is the expected date of the CDR.  There have been other posts that explained the three basic diaries: 1 year, 3 years, or 7 years.  This post will not rehash that.  What will be stated is that a diary date does not mean a CDR will be done when the diary date is reached. 

Congress allocates money in mysterious ways.  Studies have shown that if as few as 5% of CDR’s result in cessation of benefits the entire CDR process is paid for from savings resulting from the reduced number of checks being sent out.  Despite this, Congress continuously fails to allocate enough money to process CDR’s on all of the expired diaries.  There appears to be no rhyme or reason to explain which cases do, or do not, get examined on a given diary date. 

I am aware of cases where the ALJ expected medical improvement and placed a one year diary on the case but it was not reviewed for 15 years.  Talk to disability examiners or adjudicators any they will tell you it is not uncommon to receive a case from SSA where no CDR has been done for 20, or 25 years and the person is now over 60 years of age.  If, in such a case , medical improvement can be proven, this person will have no prior work history (only the most recent 15 years is considered) and the person will probably GRID out. 

The last fear to be addressed is medical treatment – how much is enough?  Back to the basic preaching.  One should go to a medical provider for only reason – that is to improve one’s health.  Anyone who is going to a medical provider to receive, or keep receiving benefits is hurting themselves.  Anyone who is not completely honest with his/her medical provider is hurting themselves.  Get the treatment you need – no more, no less.  Some conditions can only be maintained, and if stable treatment is only needed periodically.  Some conditions need frequent and visits to a treating source.  How often one receives treatment or medical care is a decision to be made by the treating source and the patient, not by SSA.

Do not fear the CDR process, embrace it.  My prayer for each and everyone who receives SSDI or SSI is to find the magical cure and become capable of resuming work.  Obviously this is not going to happen for most people but wouldn’t it be great if you were the one for whom medical improvement occurred and you were able to go back to work? 
In the mean time do not worry about things that probably will not happen and which you cannot control anyway.  Type the following and put it on your mirror to read every day. 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr
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The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it. (Richard Bach)
Name: Pati
Location: East Tennessee
Age at Application: 53
Disability: Small Fiber & Autonomic Neuropathy; Sjogren's Syndrome; DJD
Date Applied: 02/19/2009
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved 10/26/2009
Date Award Letter Received: 11/17/2009
Date Back Pay Received: 10/25/2009
Additional Info: Assigned to DQB on 10/5/09. Approved.
joanmj58
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 02:26:50 PM »

 bump
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Name: Joan
Location: VA
Age at Application: 51
Disability: bipolar I ,MS, breast cancer
Date Applied: June 2009
First Approval/Denial Date: denied
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: denied
Hearing Date: March 16, 2011 w/attorney
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: March 25, 2011--"fully favorable"
Additional Info: back pay 60 days after approval letter
PattyBee
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 04:56:18 PM »

Wow!  How eloquently stated! 
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Patty Bee
Name: Patty Bee
Location: Virginia
Age at Application: 39
Disability: Depression, Anxiety, DDD, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, morbid obesity, severe sleep apnea
Date Applied: March 24, 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Denied June 2010
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Denied December 2010
Hearing Date: December 8, 2011
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: Fully Favorable decision received Friday January 13th, 2012! Got backpay on February 8, 2012!
Additional Info: Praise the Lord! Good luck and God bless you all!
canada65
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 08:15:55 PM »

The advice in the post is very informative and well written and does help to alleviate some of the worries people may have. Now i am not trying to put anything negative on here but i personally can understand people worrying about a cdr. Most people on here seem to have had to fight so long and hard for there approval and in many cases have lost so much in the process that just the thought of there being a chance either now or in the future of loosing the benefits that they have fought so hard to get and having to possibly fight as hard all over again is a very scary thought for them. I wish everyone could see all the positives after being approved for benefits but having to fight so hard for something that you truly feel you deserve and in a lot of cases being put through the ringer before being approved takes any positives in being approved  for your benefits away from you. Now im not saying everyone should be worried about something they have no control over like there cdr, im just saying i can understand it.
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Name: Brian
Location: Illinois
Age at Application: 45
Disability: Depresion,chronic bowel obstructions, osteo arthritis,
Date Applied: June 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved August 2010
Dragon Fly
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 10:24:31 PM »

Well said DP, thank you....
>;<
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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --  Friedrich Nietzsche
Name: >;<
Location: CA
Age at Application: 37
Disability: Complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder
Date Applied: October 8, 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved verbally March 15th, 2011. Approval letter dated April 5, 2011
Additional Info: 2 weeks in QR, Received backpay April 4th, 2011
JTB ~ Jane
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 06:35:25 AM »

Most definitely a Must Read...Good Job DP!!!
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Life is a series of problems to be solved...Abe Lincoln
Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be...Abe Lincoln
Name: Jane
Location: Illinois
Age at Application: 59
Disability: Spinal Cord Injury, Fractured C4, Left-side partial paralysis, severe spasticity
Date Applied: ... 7/21/11 > Re-Opened 2009 application
First Approval/Denial Date: APPROVED 11/3/11 ... BACKPAY from 11/2008
Additional Info: Rec'd partial BackPay 1/3/12...Balance of 36 months rec'd 2/13/12
templobe
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 10:59:42 AM »

That was very,very nice of you! Great post & info!
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Sharbear50
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 12:41:29 PM »

The advice in the post is very informative and well written and does help to alleviate some of the worries people may have. Now i am not trying to put anything negative on here but i personally can understand people worrying about a cdr. Most people on here seem to have had to fight so long and hard for there approval and in many cases have lost so much in the process that just the thought of there being a chance either now or in the future of loosing the benefits that they have fought so hard to get and having to possibly fight as hard all over again is a very scary thought for them. I wish everyone could see all the positives after being approved for benefits but having to fight so hard for something that you truly feel you deserve and in a lot of cases being put through the ringer before being approved takes any positives in being approved  for your benefits away from you. Now im not saying everyone should be worried about something they have no control over like there cdr, im just saying i can understand it.
You actually wrote what I was just thinking. I did lose a lot in the process. My house, car, furniture and my health went to sh*t due to no insurance and no $$$. I also don't have a clue to which ailment I was approved on. So yeah, I do worry and lose sleep. It scares me to think I will lose what little I have left if my benefits are lost. Just sayin'.
Sharon
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Sharon
I wish I had land - grow food
Age at Application: 51
Disability: Rhuematoid Arthritis, Degenerative Disc, Small Vessel Disease, past Encephalitis, Hip Replacement, Migraines, Carpal Tunnel, Graves and Hashimotos, Mitral Valve Prolapse, etc.
Date Applied: Oct. 2009
First Approval/Denial Date: Denied Oct 2010/Denied again/Missed ALJ Deadlline
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Reapplied May 2011/Approved Sept 9, 2011
mack265546
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 02:15:06 PM »

Thanks DP!
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Name: lymegirl
Location: Texas
Age at Application: 35
Disability: Lupus, Late Stage Lyme Disease, Fibro, Chronic Fatigue, Dementia, Anxiety, Anemia, B12 Deficient, Numbness and Tingling on Right Side, Celiac Disease, Inflammatory Poly-Arthritis
Date Applied: May 2011
First Approval/Denial Date: Denied 14 November 2011; Reconsideration filed December 2011
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Approved - 3 February 2012
Date Award Letter Received: 02/25/12
Date Back Pay Received: 02/15/12
Date Dependent Benefits Received: 03/03/12
Additional Info: Disabled as of 01/26/2010. SSA Ruled me Disabled as of 7/31/10. Approved 2/3/12
JeffBanks
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 08:58:56 PM »

Thanks for the information!

Yes, there is fear around the CDR process because most of us don't really know what is involved or how many people lose benefits.

Believe me, I **WISH** every day for improvement. If I could, I'd go back to work in a heartbeat. My last year of employment, I made about $84,000. My SSDI benefit is just over $20,000. Of course, I am happy for that since it will pay my basic bills, but I would much rather go back to my old life. I LOVED my job, I loved seeing my coworkers every day and I loved the challenges.

When I first lost my job, I was in denial about my disability. I tried diligently to find work, but nothing came together for me. Of course, now I realize it is because I simply was not up to it. Between that time and my approval, I went through my retirement savings, sold almost everything of value I owned on eBay and had to turn to relatives and friends for help to survive. It was NOT a pleasant process and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Having gone though it, however, I can see why people are nervous about the CDR's. It was hard enough to survive it the first time, nobody wants to go through it twice! It is nice to know that it - thankfully - isn't super easy to take away the benefits. If I improve enough to be able to work, believe me, I wouldn't wait for the CDR, I'd start back to work immediately.

It amazes me how so many people who have never been through any of this have convinced themselves that nearly everyone on SSDI and SSI is able to work, but is faking it for that HUGE CHECK we get every month! Sure, because who doesn't want to make 75% less money, lose their car, savings, or even their homes? It is just THRILLING to go to the grocery store and have to tell yourself that you cannot afford the things you used to buy without thinking twice about them. And turning down invitations to go out with friends, because you cannot afford to go out to eat, or to the ball game, or whatever. And worrying that something unexpected will come up, because there is no room in your budget for any extra ANYTHING! Yeah, it's a wonderful life....
Logged
Location: Indiana
Age at Application: 45
Disability: COPD, Arthritis, Lymphedema, Sleep Apnea, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure
Date Applied: 12/2011
First Approval/Denial Date: 04/2012
Date Award Letter Received: 04/2012
Date Back Pay Received: 04/2012
SSDAdmin
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 10:40:42 PM »

Very well stated!
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I speak from experience not expertise.
Name: Marci
Location: Florida
Age at Application: 35
Disability: Arthritis, Degenerative Disc, Migraines, Foot Injury
Date Applied: September 2005
First Approval/Denial Date: Denied February 2006
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Denied October 2006
Date Hearing Notice Received: October 2008 two weeks before hearing
Hearing Date: October 2008
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: Letter Received December 2008
Date Award Letter Received: January 2009
Date Back Pay Received: February 2009
Additional Info: Approved at hearing, no Attorney
miapoppy
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 05:22:36 AM »

I totally agree, very well stated!!!! I hate not being able to buy simple things, like fresh vegetables and have to say NO to the kids!!!! That ontop of losing everything else  sob Again well said!!!!  heartthrob
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"He that is thy friend indeed,He will help thee in thy need:If thou sorrow, he will weep;If thou wake, he cannot sleep:Thus of every grief in heart He with thee does bear a part.These are certain signs to know Faithful friend from flattering foe." William Shakespeare
Name: Fighting for hubby :)
Age at Application: 48/50 today January 28th!
Disability: Recently diagnosed with Renal-Artery Stenosis of left kidneySleep apnea, PAD, COPD,Malignant hypertension, elevated blood pressure. DJD of knee.
Date Applied: October 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Feb 2011
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Applied Feb and waiting .....Denied April 22, 2011
Date Hearing Notice Received: December 2011
Hearing Date: Applied May 2011. Hearing April 6th 2012.
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: Approval letter April 30th
Dragon Fly
Glitter Queen SSDFacts Doughnator
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2012, 01:01:00 PM »

Welcome JeffB!!

Awesome post!
>;<
Dragon Fly
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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --  Friedrich Nietzsche
Name: >;<
Location: CA
Age at Application: 37
Disability: Complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder
Date Applied: October 8, 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved verbally March 15th, 2011. Approval letter dated April 5, 2011
Additional Info: 2 weeks in QR, Received backpay April 4th, 2011
MikeyB
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Good Luck


« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2012, 01:21:40 PM »

Well said Pati,

For those who have been approved for disability please stop worrying and leave all that to those of us who still have not yet been approved and who live right on the "edge" now everyday (like you probably did until your approval came). Once approved, get off your  soapbox about a "CDR" for there are many on this board i'm pretty sure of would swap our not approved "yet" for your"approval with possible CDR" any day.
 dunno
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Mikeyb
Name: Mikeyb
Location: USA
Date Back Pay Received: Sept 2014-Denied by AC
Kittyholic
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The Catwhisperer


« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2012, 03:01:29 PM »

Thanks MikeyB:

I only wish I could take credit. That was written by Different Perspective. And he is soooo right.

Pati
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The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it. (Richard Bach)
Name: Pati
Location: East Tennessee
Age at Application: 53
Disability: Small Fiber & Autonomic Neuropathy; Sjogren's Syndrome; DJD
Date Applied: 02/19/2009
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved 10/26/2009
Date Award Letter Received: 11/17/2009
Date Back Pay Received: 10/25/2009
Additional Info: Assigned to DQB on 10/5/09. Approved.
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