What is a CDR and in a SSD case?

by Vaughn Clauson on July 6, 2016

If you are an SSI or SSDI recipient, then you already are aware that the Social Security Administration will review your disability eligibility on a regular basis. Disability Attorney in NC advises that the Continuing Disability Review (CDR) usually occurs every three years. However, SSA can decide to review much later; sometimes as infrequently as seven years. On the other hand, according to ssa.gov, if the government determines you have a condition that they expect will improve sooner than three years, they will schedule your CDR at an earlier date. Also, unless you are enrolled in a “return-to-work-plan”, a CDR is likely to occur if you begin earning too much income from your job if you have one.

For those anticipating their first CDR, initially you will be notified by the Disability Determination Service (DDS) in your area that they plan on beginning your review. You will be asked to fill out forms that cover past and current medical treatment, what your daily activities consist of and a description of work-related activity, if any. For assistance in complying with what is required from you, contact a disability Attorney in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, a claims examiner at DDS will contact your doctor (or doctors) and any other medical-related sources for reports on your condition. If they do not receive specific information from your doctor, or they determine that there is conflicting information submitted about you, then the claims examiner may require you to submit to a medical evaluation at SSA’s expense.

Once SSA is satisfied with the information about you that they have on hand, they will review it with the goal of deciding whether you are showing any medical improvement in the problems that were present when SSA first ascertained that you were “disabled.”   If the Social Security Administration determines you are still disabled, benefits will continue. Should SSA decide that the severity of your impairment has lessened, and you no longer qualify under disability guidelines, you will be sent a termination notice.

Don’t panic. Don’t lose sleep thinking that you are about to lose your benefits.  The vast majority of Continuing Disability Reviews (95 percent in SSA’s most recent study) result in rulings that keep benefits in place. However, if you were to receive a termination notice, you have the right to appeal and also to request continuing to receive benefits while your appeal is pending. For help in filing an appeal, contact The Clauson Law Firm.

In short, a CDR is a necessary, every-so-often part of your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. The government is not out to take it away from you. They only want to make certain those who need it and still qualify for it will continue to receive it.


When you’ve been denied disability in North Carolina, it can be difficult not to lose hope. After all, you’re probably relying on disability benefits to help get you through an injury or illness that is preventing you from working, and you need to be able to pay your medical costs and other expenses. However, the important thing to remember is not to give up, because the statistics are actually in your favor. North Carolina has some disability denial, appeal, and approval statistics to rejuvenate you and help you to make that extra effort to keep going even when it seems like your appeal is hopeless.

At first glance, it may seem like you have good reason to be worried; after all, the statistics for SSDI or SSI denial are stark. In North Carolina, only 29.8 of initial applications are approved, while 70.2 percent are rejected; for those who are rejected and go on to file a request for reconsideration, only 10.9 are accepted while the overwhelming majority – 89.1 percent – are denied. However, the catch that most people don’t realize is that your disability appeals process doesn’t end there; after your request for reconsideration is denied, you can go on to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge who will hear your case and rule based on the evidence presented.

That’s where the advantage of filing your claim in North Carolina comes in. North Carolina has one of the highest rates of hearing approval; 52 percent of hearing requests are approved in the state, tying it for sixth place with Nebraska and Maine. This means that people who are denied disability in North Carolina can file an appeal, and even if that appeal is denied, they can still file to have their case heard in court – and more often than not, someone who goes through this process will end up before a judge. The most heartening news is that once you get to this stage, over 50 percent of cases heard by administrative law judges get approved. So getting to the hearing is the biggest hurdle – and living in North Carolina gives you an advantage when it comes to doing so. These statistics will hopefully give you the motivation you need to talk to your attorney and move forward with the appeals process.


Reviewing SSDI and SSI Cases for Diabetes

by Vaughn Clauson on March 13, 2015

While some diabetics are able to control their diabetes and lead productive and healthy work lives, other patients can develop complications from the disease. Because of the complications, they may meet the qualifications established for claiming diabetes as a disability.

How Lack of Treatment Can Result in Complications
Disability payments often provide financial help for diabetics who must test their blood, give injections, and track their diet and exercise on a routine basis. If a diabetic does not have health insurance, then the aforementioned responsibilities can overwhelm him at times. Also, if diabetes is not regularly treated, then complications leading to a permanent disability can develop too. In its most severe form, diabetes mellitus can disable a person or cause a permanent impairment.

Type One Diabetes
Diabetes is divided into two types for the purpose of SSDI/SSI claims. Type one diabetes is also called juvenile onset diabetes. This kind of diabetes is insulin-dependent. Therefore, patients who have Type one diabetes must rely on either injections or an insulin pump in order to receive the blood glucose they need.

Diabetic Conditions
Complications that can result in adulthood from insulin-dependent diabetes include vision problems, organ damage, and neuropathy. Any of these conditions are considered impairment or a disability by the Social Security Administration or SSA.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type two diabetes is another name for adult onset diabetes and is a condition that develops later in an adult’s life. Although it can be brought on for various reasons, type two diabetes primarily develops form a sedentary lifestyle or obesity. The condition can be treated with either injections or oral medicines. Type 2 diabetics monitor their blood sugar too.

Therefore, diabetics who don’t control their blood sugar generally have complications that can lead to impairment later in their life. A complication that results from diabetes is often approved for disability compensation as the condition can lead to an inability to work.

Common Long-term Complications
Common long-term complications from diabetes include peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage in the extremities – depicted by a burning or tingling pain in the legs and arms. Another complication is diabetic retinopathy that results in visual impairment. Other complications that result from diabetes that can be approved for SSD compensation include foot ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke and kidney damage.

Consult with an Attorney
The complications associated with diabetes then make it impossible to work in certain situations. Patients who once stood on their feet all day, or have been affected visually, often must learn to take it easy. Grid rules often apply for older and low-income people who need to regularly track and monitor their insulin intake. Regardless of the reason for your diabetes-related impairment, it’s essential that you consult with an SSD attorney if you want ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefits allowable under the law.

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While you are able to obtain disability compensation for physical and mental claims, it is normally more of a challenge to collect disability for an illness that is based on mental difficulties. With respect to mental claims, symptoms are harder to assess and the severity of the illness may be hard to gauge objectively.

As Social Security Administration (SSA) claim examiners are not educated to understand the cyclical natural of mental disorders, they are sometimes unable to grasp the broad scope of limitations that are imposed by certain impairments. For example, impairments, such as bipolar disorder, are marked by periods of normalcy followed by times when the patient is manic or depressed.

SSA Sanctioned Mental Illnesses
When evaluating a mental illness, an examiner first refers to the SSA’s “blue book” of official mental impairments. These conditions are recognized by the SSA as being inherently disabling. Some of the listed impairments under this category include mental retardation, autism, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and disorders connected to substance abuse.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness that is not listed in the SSA blue book and the symptoms of the condition are preventing you from working full-time, then you can still receive SSD compensation. In order to demonstrate your need for disability compensation, you should align yourself with an SSDI/SSI legal specialist who can assist you in your case.

What You Must Prove
By partnering with an SSDI/SSI attorney, you can demonstrate, through x-rays, imaging and diagnosis, why your condition is preventing you from working full-time. Applicants must prove that their mental illness is keeping them from working a 40-hour week and that the condition is expected to continue for a year or more.

SSA examiners use a measurement called a mental RFC (Residual Functional Capacity) to determine an applicant’s limitations with respect to education level, job skills and age. Generally, claims for social security disability get denied because of poorly maintained treatment notes, a lack of information with respect to therapy and a patient’s non-compliance with taking prescribed medications. This type of response can become a major issue in disability approval as SSA examiners look at what a claimant can do to reduce the limitations that are being placed on him. Therefore, a patient’s impairment cannot be accurately assessed if he is not complying with or following the prescribed treatment plan.

If you secure the services of an SSDI/SSI attorney, approval is much more likely to occur. While you can file a claim yourself, you increase your odds for approval by as much as 70% if you work with an SSDI/SSI legal specialist. Therefore, it is important that you consider what documentation the SSA will need to fully assess your case and provide that paperwork to your SSD attorney.

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Joint Pain and Arthritis: How to Make Claims for These Common Afflictions

March 6, 2015

Joint pain, including arthritis, is a common affliction as approximately 1/3 of adults suffer from this kind of pain in the U.S. Common places for the pain to occur include the neck, hips, shoulders, knees, hip, wrists, ankles and elbows. […]

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How SSD Attorneys Handle Cancer Cases

March 2, 2015

The Social Security Administration or SSA recognizes that cancer is an impairment that can prevent the patient from working. Not only can the treatment medicine used for the disease reduce the amount of working time, the physical limitations a patient […]

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Heart Disease Disability Claims Can Take a Long Processing Time

February 27, 2015

Whether you reference it for medical reasons or use it in filing SSDI/SSI claims, heart disease generally is used to describe one of a number of conditions that affect the heart or cardiovascular system. As a result, heart disease can […]

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Back Pain and Related Disorders Vary When Filing SSD Claims

February 20, 2015

Back pain, by basic definition, is listed as musculoskeletal and spinal cord impairment by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the criteria are quite rigid with respect to approval. Therefore, few claimants obtain approval when listing “back pain” alone as […]

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December 24, 2014

In addition to disability, the disability claimant may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or “SSI.” To be eligible for SSI benefits, the disability claimant must suffer from a severed condition.  The level of severity is measured by the effect […]

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December 17, 2014

Many citizens of North Carolina suffer from disabilities of a physical or mental nature yet are unsure if they qualify for social security disability benefits. These potential claimants need to contact a Social Security Law Firm. The social security law […]

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