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Continuing Disability Reviews Get More Attention From Congress

2013 November 26
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by Steve Perrigo

Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) were in the spotlight again on Nov. 19, 2013, as the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Government Reform held a hearing on the Social Security disability program. Full medical CDRs help determine when individuals no longer meet the criteria to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that every $1 spent on CDRs results in $9 savings to the programs, which members of Congress said they see as critical to program integrity.

According to testimony, SSA expected to end fiscal year 2013 with a backlog of 1.3 million full medical CDRs. They were only able to conduct 428,568 CDRs, which is 34 percent less than the goal of 650,000 and less than the 443,233 completed the prior year.

The hearing may spur Congress to allocate additional funds toward CDRs with the fiscal year 2014 budget. SSA’s own budget request proposes $1.227 billion in mandatory funds for CDRs. SSA estimates this funding would allow the completion of approximately 1.047 million CDRs and help make significant strides toward reducing the CDR backlog.

Allsup will continue to monitor the SSA’s budget for fiscal year 2014, specifically the amount allocated for medical CDRs.

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