Can Social Security Reevaluate Your Eligibility for Benefits?

The Social Security Administration periodically reevaluates eligibility for benefits for some recipients. If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) due to a disability, they will review your case at certain intervals to see if you are still disabled and unable to work. The Social Security Administration does not reevaluate eligibility for retirement benefits.


To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from doing any significant amount of work in any type of job. When the Social Security Administration reevaluates your claim, they look to see if you remain unable to work, or if your condition has improved enough that you can return to work, even if only on a limited basis or in a different type of job than what you used to do.


The Social Security Administration will reevaluate your eligibility for disability benefits on a time schedule based on how likely they believe improvement is to occur in your condition. If they think your condition is likely to improve, they will reevaluate your case at least every 18 months. If they think improvement may or may not occur, they will reevaluate your case about every three years. If they think improvement is unlikely, they will reevaluate your case every five to seven years.

Review Process

The Social Security Administration will contact you when they plan to reevaluate your benefits. They will send you some paperwork to complete and ask for names and addresses of any health care professionals that have treated you in recent months. They may contact your health care professionals for additional information.


Fill out any forms the Social Security Administration sends you and return them as soon as possible. Ask your doctor to complete any forms he receives and return those as soon as possible, too. If you need help completing any forms, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to request assistance.


If the Social Security Administration determines that you no longer meet the criteria to receive disability benefits and you disagree with their decision, you can appeal. You have 60 days from the date you receive notification of their decision in which to file your appeal. If you ask, you can continue receiving benefits until they have decided your appeal, but if you lose the appeal, you may have to pay back any money received during that time.


About the Author

Mike Andrews is a freelance writer and serial entrepreneur focused on small-business and entrepreneurship for average people. He holds a bachelor's degree in biblical studies and a master's degree in theology and has appeared in a wide array of print and online periodicals including "HiCall," "Mature Living" and "Caregivers Home Companion."