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SSA Increases Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) Performed In FY 2015

2016 July 27
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by Steve Perrigo

The Social Security Administration (SSA) increased total periodic continuing disability reviews (CDRs) by 18 percent from fiscal year (FY) 2014 to 2015, according to data recently released. In FY 2015, the agency processed 1,971,812 total CDRs, up from 1,674,713 the previous year.

CDRs are reevaluations by the SSA to determine if Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries are still disabled. They are considered the agency’s most important program integrity tool.

Nearly 60 percent of all CDRs in FY 2015 fall into the category of mailers, involving only a self-report questionnaire mailed to beneficiaries. The second category is full medical reviews, which are more extensive and include a medical evaluation by the agency. For FY 2015, 78 percent of SSDI only CDRs were mailers, and 22 percent were full medical reviews. In contrast, 28 percent of SSI only CDRs were mailers, and 72 percent were full medical reviews.

Regarding full medical CDRs, the SSI program has seen the largest increase, up 98 percent from FY 2014 to FY 2015. In comparison, full medical CDRs for SSDI only disabled workers increased just 12 percent during the same period.

The agency continues to cease more benefits under the SSI program than the SSDI program. SSI is a means-based program and eligibility is affected by fluctuations in household income and assets, among other things. SSDI only cessations amounted to just 32,057 in FY 2015, while SSI only cessations were nearly five times that amount at 154,345. The agency estimates the return on investment is $9 for each $1 spent on CDRs.

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