Will Social Security Review My Disability at Age 53?

by Tom Lutzenberger ; Updated July 27, 2017

If you have a disability and are receiving disability benefits from the government, you may be wondering if there is some kind of review expected at certain ages. According to the Social Security Administration, reviews happen periodically and there is no magic age for a re-evaluation. However, if your condition changes for the better as defined, it will trigger a redetermination of eligibility.


Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are the federal programs that provide for people who meet the federal definition of “disabled” for the purposes of receiving government benefits. Under SSDI and SSI, these benefits are delivered in the form of financial assistance paid monthly to the approved recipient. In addition, under certain conditions, your family members will be eligible to receive related monetary benefits as well from the same programs.


The most significant criteria to gain and maintain disability eligibility is to have worked the requisite number of employed years and to have paid your Social Security taxes when you were employed. When you apply for the benefits, the Social Security Administration handles the paperwork and will evaluate your medical and other information to make a determination.

The medical condition you apply with must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a “disability.” It does not matter if your doctor or another government agency has their own evaluation on file. That information may be included as part of the disability evaluation, but ultimately the Social Security Administration's definition is the threshold for approval.

Definition of Disability

The Social Security definition of “disability” is straightforward. First, the programs pay only for total disability conditions. Short-term conditions also are barred from benefits. The agency definition is constructed on your condition permanently barring your ability to work. This means when disabled you are unable to perform the work you did before the condition occurred, you are unable to switch to another type of work because of your disability, and your condition will be in place for at least a year or will eventually cause your death.

Strict Interpretation

Other conditions of disability are disallowed because the Social Security Administration assumes that a working family has the ability to draw upon one another and has other resources, such as the workers’ compensation program, short and long-term disability benefits from employment, life or health insurance, and personal financial resources.

Periodic Screening

The government will periodically screen your condition to make sure you are maintaining your eligibility to continue receiving benefits. Approval will continue as long as you meet the above definition of disabled. A disallowance would occur if a periodic review finds enough improvement in your health that you could go back to work, or if you desire to be employed again.

There is no set age or date for periodic reviews. The reviews are performed periodically as caseload permits. Recipients receive an advance notice when a review will occur and a status of their benefits continuation afterward. Recipients also are expected to keep the government informed of condition changes for the better.

About the Author

Since 2009 Tom Lutzenberger has written for various websites, covering topics ranging from finance to automotive history. Lutzenberger works in public finance and policy and consults on a variety of analytical services. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Saint Mary's College and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from California State University, Sacramento.