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Topic: CDRs and surgery  (Read 482 times)
DisabledInWI
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« on: May 14, 2017, 01:20:05 PM »

I'm scheduled to have total knee replacement surgery next month and was wondering how recent surgeries affect CDRs. For instance, I've read where recovery from TKR can typically take anywhere from three to six months or more so if I were to receive a CDR next month (I got my last CDR benefit continuance in August 2015) and put down that I just had major surgery, it's really too soon to know if the surgery is successful since there's a long rehab process post surgery, isn't it? Does SSA do short-term continuances for situations like this, if such a thing even exists? My doctor has also said I'll need a TKR on my other knee as well and I may also need something done with my hip, so this first surgery might be just the beginning.

Thanks!
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Location: Wisconsin
Age at Application: 49 (Current age 53)
Disability: Patellofemoral osteoarthritis, both knees
Date Applied: April 2012
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved July 2012
Date Award Letter Received: August 2012
Different Perspective
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 03:54:11 PM »

Whoa!  Let's back up a minute.  You were adjudicated as disabled as of 8/2012 and had a Continuing Disability Review completed in 8/2015, and were found to continue to meet the SSA definition of disability. Right?  So you think, but do not know that you may receive your next CDR in 8/17. Right? 

The normal diary date would be three years, not two.  Why do you think this CDR will come in two years instead of three?    Have you something in writing from SSA stating you have a two year diary? 

O.K. let's assume you are correct and your CDR occurs in August.  Has the Medically Determinable Impairment(s) that caused you to meet the SSA definition improved to the point that you can now perform Significant Gainful Activity? 

Assuming you were allowed benefits because of knee problems and you are now at the point that a total replacement of one knee is necessary and the other knee is presumed to need replacement in the foreseeable future, it would appear that Medical Improvement of the disabling condition has not occurred.  No MI, no cessation.  Benefits will continue.

Now let's assume your CDR will not happen until 8/18, or later.  Wouldn't it be great if the two knee replacements would allow you to perform some types of work and you could return to work, at least for a while?  This would increase your retirement benefit when you, and not your medical condition(s), dictate your retirement date.

Have you taken any steps to retrain yourself so you can perform some types of light or sedentary work that the knee replacement may allow?

"Does SSA do short-term continuances for situations like this..."
 
Yes.  As at the initial levels, SSA may consider that, after a recuperation period, the application may be able to perform some types of SGA and may adjust the diary date from the normal 3 years to one year.  All the more reason to consider retraining.  You may want to contact your State Vocational Rehabilitation office for assistance in retraining and job placement.   

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Additional Info: My Different Perspective comes from a lifetime of being near, working with and for those with disabilities, working for the Easter Seal Society, working for the Disability Determination Services (20+ years) and working as a case assistant to an attorney who, until he retired, worked on SSA disability cases exclusively and have attended approximately 185 Hearings. I have great empathy for the truly disabled and greater antipathy for those who try to game or scam the system. With my background, I quickly make distinctions between the two. I am ready to admit my error as soon as the evidence proves me wrong. Any posts I make are based on my experience, memory and current research. Anything, particularly opinions, I post should be verified by someone who has access to the entire case record and not just selected shorts offered by those seeking information, preferably by a competent attorney or non-attorney representative who thoroughly understands SSA law.
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