By law, Individuals who receive disability benefits are supposed to have their disability reviewed at least every three years to detemine whether they still qualify. This is known as a "CDR" However, as everyone knows throughout SSA, that does not happen. U.S. Congressman Dave Camp (R) 4th District of Michigan, and chairman of the Committe on Ways and Means, noted in an opening statement to congress that "Social Security has fallen behind reviewing the medical status of those receiving disability benefits." In 2010, Social Security had a backlog of 1.4 million medical CDRs. When these reviews aren’t done on time, people who no longer qualify will continue to receive benefits they don’t deserve." See Johnson Opening Statement: Hearing on Social Security’s Payment Accuracy
Tuesday, June 14, 201. Many ALJs no longer recommend that a review be carried out.
The reality is that once you are receiving disability benefits, you are probably going to be receiving them for life. The payment of benefits to those who no longer qualify is costing the U.S. taxpayer billions of dollars. In addition, those who no longer qualify have no incentive to return to work.
I am an attorney for SSA ODAR. My sole job is to draft legally justifiable decisions for ALJs. ODAR has a huge resource base of qualified attorneys and paralegals like me.
I suggest that each attorney/paralegal be assigned several CDR cases to investigate and summarize. This would include efforts to determine whether a person is working and/or has medically improved. Following the investigation, the attorney would recommend to an official whether disability should cease.
I did an internship at another govt agency. Each attorney had a small load of cases involving unrelated matters to investigate . This varied the attorneys work and allowed the attorney to develop skills in other areas. It also helped the govt with its workload.
Alternatively, SSA should hire private contractors to investigate.