How to Complete a Disability Update Report (SSA-455-BK)

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Art: Robin Mead

If you are on disability, Social Security will contact you from time to time to confirm that you are still disabled. There are two different kinds of review forms they send out:

🌷 One is called a Disability Update Report. People like to call this the “short form”. It’s short!

🌷 The other is called a Continuing Disability Review. People like to call this the “long form.” It’s long!

Short Forms!

If you got a short form, you may be happy. Short forms are short and easy to fill out:

🌷 Ten Tips and Tricks for Filling Out a Disability Update Report

🌷 Help! I Have a Short Form Problem or Question

🌷 What Happens After I Send In My Disability Update Report?

🌷 How to Find Your Secret Code on Your Short Form

🌷 How Does Social Security Process a “Low” Profile Code

🌷 How Does Social Security Process a “Medium” or “High” Profile Code

🌷 Social Security policy manual for the short form

Long Forms!

After the short form, no one is ever denied. You are either approved, or you are sent a long form:

🌷 How to Be Prepared for a Continuing Disability Review

🌷 How to Complete a Continuing Disability Review Report

Learn More

🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: Everything No One Ever Tells You About Living on Social Security Disability

🌷 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌷 Page Updated: 7/1/19

WHAT DO YOU THINK? 

🌷 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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190 thoughts on “How to Complete a Disability Update Report (SSA-455-BK)”

  1. I am up for my first CDR, mailed my short form out March 18th. A little nervous and understand that it is just a waiting game now. I have two codes for my illness as well as a low profile. I filled out the form as best I could with doctors dates and three hospital stays for depression. Was just not sure what to put in for reason for visits. So I just listed Bipolar, depression and medication. Then all three hospital visits listed reason as depression. hope all goes well and scanner does not kick it out for further review. I will post my results when I hear back from SS.

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      1. I just sent my Disability Update short form in 30 days late, I did not go to my mail box for 2 months because of my disability. I had a severe anxiety attack while filling out the form and made some mistakes with Dr, office date order and did not use the supplied return envelope. Will being late with this short form cause me problems?
        Any help will be appreciated.

        I wish I would found this blog before I panicked and sent form in,

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    1. Hi Don,

      Sorry I’m not able to help in your situation but perhaps you would be willing to share some info in order to answer some of my questions. I have the same diagnoses and was placed on a 3 year review cycle. I was just approved last month but I’m not sure if in the future I should expect a short or long form. Is this your first review? If not, how long have you been on ssdi and was your first review a short or long form or how many short or long forms have you received over time? Thanks a bunch of your able to share.

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  2. I have a question about the written answers on 5. I tremor and writing is hard esp printing. Im afraid my letters arent very readable, they are squiggly and not all in the boxes. Does the scanner kick out the form for those letters in the boxes? Plus i only put the abbreviation for my illness and the word medication in the reason for visits, was that right? I couldnt fit the whole word in the spaces.

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  3. Thank you so much for your reply again! I think it’s best to just leave the remarks blank. Less chance of it being read my a human.

    Sorry to keep bothering you with questions. I’m having some anxiety filling this form out.

    In the spaces for reason for doc visit. My primary diagnosis is “disorders of back” severe.

    Do you think it would be ok to put “bad back pain meds?

    I see my doctor for checkups on my spine, pain, and for prescription.

    They don’t really give you much space!

    Thank you again for your help! Your website is a godsend to people dealing with disability.

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  4. Hello Sleepygirl! Thank you for your answer to me previous question.

    I have one more question. I’m in the process of filling outthe short form. Is it best to leave the “remarks” section blank on the short form?

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    1. I am also filling out a short form, it wants two years of visits…I see one dr monthly, one dr monthly or bi monthly and one at least quarterly and this has been consistent for the last two years. Do I list all of the visits (not sure how they can all possibly fit) or do I just need to list the last three?

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        1. Thank you for the reply, I will list last three….I have them all in order just in case…. I was approved 3 years ago in May and already have the form. I am L at level 39 which I guess is high from what I have read here. I’m almost 57 with a disabling work injury. Will see how this review goes.. Great site !!! Nice to know someone is out there to help out, I was getting stressed out.

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  5. Hello, hoping you can answer my question. Just received my second ever short form. Last one was three years ago. Profile “low”.

    Asking for doctor appointments from Feb. 2018-present. I saw my doc two times in 2018. But only once in 2019 (December 2019). This last year was really difficult for me pain wise. Often unable to drive.

    Do you think I will have issues with part 5 if I’m only able to put two visits in 2018 and one in 2019?

    Thank you!

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    1. Hi chris,

      I do not know any more beyond the regs that are posted above. Just answer honestly, and if your condition has not improved, most people have benefits continue one way or other. Hope it goes great.

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  6. Hello Sleepygirl, i just received a second short cdr form im a 3 year with a L38 diary , my questions are 5 and 6 on the form. Do i list my doctor visits in the order of the date ascending or descending? Do i list the doctor i seen for a non primary condition? or just my specialist for my primary disability? And on question 6 do i list procedures related to my disability only or all of them? Will that require a new long form, if i list other issues? I havent had any long hospital stays, just procedures that were outpatient

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    1. Hi Dina, I haven’t seen anything in the regulations that gives specific rules for any of these questions. I don’t think there are specific wrong or right ways to do it, as long as your answers are honest and accurate.

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      1. One other thing, i tremor its hard for me to write legibly. On question 5 for my visits i put my illness and medication as reason, but trying to print it out in the boxes my letters are squiggly and not all inside the boxes. Is that going to fail my short form? The scanner may not be able to read the letters.

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    1. SSI – not allowed

      SSDI – It is allowed in nearly all countries, but you won’t get medicare there.

      As long as you are able to find doctors and keep up good medical records in the area you go to, and make 1000% sure that those records get to the right person during reviews, then it’s possible. Some people do it.

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      1. When I go overseas, do you think I still need keep Medicare part (B) here in the USA, or I can take just part (A) and will I have a problem if I said I don’t want part (B) ? . If i send doctors evidence from Europe, will SSA accept that’s papers for review ? Thank you again.

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        1. Hi Zoka,

          I don’t know about Medicare. You could try contacting ship:
          https://www.shiptacenter.org

          Other people I’ve heard from who live oversees did use their records from overseas doctors. As long as you can find a doctor who keeps good records, and collect everything yourself, don’t rely on SSA to get it.

          Some people keep a US mailing address with a friend or family. They tell SSA both their physical address and their mailing address. That’s more from people in places that are worried about lost or very delayed mail. I don’t know where you will be.

          please keep us updated if you do it!

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  7. I have been receiving SSDI since 2007. I had my first CDR short form in 2014. Im now 64, soon to turn 65 in March. I’ve spoken to SS and she told me my next review is in 2021. I’ll be 66 and 2months in May 2021.
    I have had both knees replaced, right one April 2017 and left one January 2019. I continue see a psychiatrist monthly for Bipolar disorder and anxiety. I also have seen a pain management doctor for facet osteoarthritis (new diagnosis) and SI joint disorder. I had radio frequency ablation or rhizotomy in December 2019.
    Which doctor’s should I list hat I’ve seen?
    I originally, had both hips replaced for osteoarthritis. Right one in March 2005 and left one in April 2007. I believe I was approved for disability for the hip replacements but I also had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
    So which should I put down for doctors I’ve seen in last two years??
    Thanks for all the information

    Debbie

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      1. Hi.My question is:Does being on a high dose medication when first diagnosed
        With a severe or persistent mental disorder.and then Years later one low dose medication for the same problem make you ineligible?

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        1. There are no rules for amount of medication.

          If you get a long form review, then they will consider what your doctor is writing in your records about your symptoms, if they are still severe, if they have improved, etc.

          For short form, they don’t look at records.

          Hope it goes well.

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  8. I didn’t put a stamp with my disability update report return envelope and I don’t know if I had to. It is causing huge anxiety so an answer will be helpful. Thanks.

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      1. Thanks for the reply. I figured I will post an update. Apparently I didn’t need a stamp because just got the we are not going to review your case at this time deferred letter. A HUGE relief. Thank you.

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  9. Hello there. Just got the Short Form this week. Unfortunately, will have to list some part-time work. My question is:
    Since the work only occurs for about 2 months per year – and- the income is very variable,how should I list the “Monthly Earnings” when it is variable? I really don’t want to write anything in the remarks but I’m thinking there is no other way.

    Thoughts?

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    1. I’m not certain the answer to that. If you were only working for two months at a time, I would think that each year you would write the date the work started and the date the work stopped and then the average monthly amount for those two months?

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      1. That’s what I was thinking also. I bit the bullet and called SSA. They too were somewhat confused about it but finally came up with the “average” solution also, although I’m not totally convinced that was the “official” answer. I’m going to run with that and just put in the “remarks” section — “per instruction received from SSA rep….”

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          1. I’m sorry Sorry l Sleepy Girl I’m 54 always worked since high school. Always kept a job but when my back went that was it. Downhill I went. My doctor is aware of not condition and I am getting ready to have another painful because surgery I’m dreading. They sent me my first short form update form after 3 years. How long is the time frame to hear a reply or answer. I know they are back logged but I’m just wondering. Thank you so much. To have another surgery would put my in a wheel chair, at least now I can stand for 10n minutes here and there. I have to sleep on the couch or chair . I cannot lay down. Very sad my life has become.
            Thank you for just a listening ear. I was considered M. I sent in the short form within the time allotted back in mid October 2019.
            You think by February I’ll have an answer?

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        1. Hi Sleepy girl I received the short form mid October 2019. After filling in the required information and x the correct boxes l, how long does it take to hear anything? Just asking. Got a lot of problems and will be needing another surgery soon on my back.
          Do you know when roughly it takes to hear a response

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  10. THREE years later, I just received my SECOND SSA-455-OCR-SM (short form). Last year I had posted about receiving my first one in 2016 (after being on SSI for 12 years without ANY kind of review (except for financial reviews). I had found it odd that it took 12 years for any kind of CDR (short or long).

    So today (8/12), I just got my second CDR (short form), I’ll get it filled out and mailed in by the end of the week. My question is this:

    When your review period comes up (whether it’s every 3, 5 or 7 years), does Social Security always send you the short form first, or are there circumstances where they send the full form (long form) to do a full disability review on you, without first sending you the short form?

    Thanks!

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      1. That’s good to know Sleepygirl, someone had replied last year that you ALWAYS get a short form when your review period comes up, no matter what. So I wanted to confirm. Thanks for the quick reply!

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      2. BTW I meant to ask you…why does the site show (from my posts and your reply) that it’s August 13, when it’s still August 12? Is this website based out of the United States or overseas? Just curious about the date issue.

        Thanks

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          1. I got my decision back today in the mail regarding my short form review (this time it took 2 months compared to having to wait 6 months last time). It says “we do not need to review your case at this time.” What a relief! However I’m wondering about something, why doesn’t it give you your review cycle or when you are next up for a review on the letter? Is this usually normal? I know my cycle is every 3 years, based on the “code” numbers from the short form, but for some reason, they don’t include this same information on their decision letter.

            Thanks!

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              1. As long as it’s normal, then I won’t worry! Thanks Sleepygirl…btw you are FAST with the replies on here! 🙂

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              2. If I could ask another question regarding my “code” information on the update report form. On the second line, it begin with the number 3 (which is my review cycle) but then after that it has a /N, well I’ll just type it out here, it’s not like I’m including identifying information.

                3/N-7/M

                I know the 3 means my review cycle, what does the “N” stand for? Then what is the number 7 for? I know the “M” is for “medium” for profile type.

                Thanks again Sleepy!

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      3. Hi!! I’ve had SSDI since I was 23. I’ve had several reviews but as time goes on, I tack on more diagnosis’s that are life long. I received the short form at the end of June but then completely forgot about it. I just filled it out but I worry about me sending it in so late. I think they usually send a second form before cutting off benefits. They haven’t sent the second yet. My blood count dropped suddenly in the past few months which affected me cognitively. Every time I’m anemic this happens, bills are late ect. Do you think it will be ok me sending in the form Monday? Should I call ssa to let them know? I’m not well enough to go back to work. I wish I was though, I miss it so much.

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  11. If I work a very little but I am still very dependent on my SSD. I will never be able to have a SGA income and my doctor understands this. I am filling out the short form. For #3, I don’t know if I should check “my doctor told me I can not work” or “my doctor and I have not discussed whether I can work”. We have talked about it and we know I can not work enough to gain SGA. My other question is if I am working a little bit and do get approved again for my review this time around, what is the likelihood that my review will be shorter than the 5-7 years.

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      1. hello im new to your site is there a way to find out what my secret code is to know if im low medium or high to see if il get a long form or short form or both when my ssa review comes in 2021?

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  12. Hi again. I got the short form in February. I got the long form in April. Then I got another form, the Adult Functional last month. Then I get a letter stating for me to call the adjunctor at DDS immediately. I called and she asked me the name and address of a the doctor who treats me for one of my conditions. Meanwhile, I filled out the long form thoroughly and included that doctor and all my doctors and their addresses. Then she tells me she sent a form for medical records to a doctor I do not even know and claims I wrote that doctor on the form. I told her that is not my doctor. I let her know who my doctors are. Then she tells me she mailed the forms and also faxed them, but only two of my doctors got it. My husband, who is my caregiver, calls her and asks if she could mail the form to us and he will personally bring the form to my doctors. She said she would mail the form to us and it has been over a week now and it has not come. I am very anxious. I do not understand what is going on.

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      1. Thanks. She has the correct file, because two of my main doctors received the form. I sent her a letter separately certified return receipt listing all my doctors to documement that we spoke. I had my husband call her. I am covering my tracks in the event she denies my benefits. I am praying that doesn’t happen. But it is scary how they have the power and hold your life in their hand.

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        1. It sounds like you are doing everything right. I think it will work out. I did meet a few people who got denied due to paperwork errors or missing documents, but they just sent in the appeal form and the denial was overturned without having to take more steps. You can also collect and send the missing records yourself, if you wish.

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          1. I truly hope it does not come to that, but in the event it does happen, I will definitely appeal because there is more than enough medical records supporting the fact that I am disabled and my conditions have not improved. We shall see what happens. But this entire process is tedious and stressful at best. Thanks for listening and all your help.

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  13. I received my 3rd short form CDR yesterday in 15 years. I started a 15 hour a week part time job a couple of years ago and back in December SS did a thorough review of my pay and sent me a letter saying they determined I can’t work enough to meet SGA. When I send in my short form and mark I’m working will I pass or will it trigger a long form review? I’m assuming SS will be ok with it since I’m reporting my wages to them every month?

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  14. I have taking a couple online courses in last year. Do I mark yes even though I did not officially attend a class in a classroom. This makes me really nervous it will cause a red flag. I ended up having to drop my last class because of my medical issues. Do you think this will be a red flag?

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    1. I haven’t seen any regulations on this, my understanding would be that you would mark yes for online courses. If you wind up getting a long form, there will be space to explain about the classes being online and having to drop the class. You might not get the long form though. Most disability update reports are approved without needing more paperwork. Hope it goes well for you.

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      1. Have a problem I think I screwed up on the form I put down that I have not been back to work or school and have not discussed with my doctor that I could work or not and that my condition has gotten worse and that I have not been to a doctor in two years or been to hospital or clinic unless you count what was done outside of the united states no remarks were left in any areas what should I do should I call SSA and get a new form or wait and hope for the best.

        P.S. I did see doctors overseas and went into hospitals and clinics but did not think to put down these visits as they were not in the United States oh well I guess I’m screwed now.

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        1. Hi Bill,

          I’m sorry I don’t know if they allow you to redo the form… you could call and ask.

          Don’t worry, if it doesn’t pass now, you’ll have the opportunity to get a long form and list all your doctors there.

          I would not rely on SSA to collect overseas records. If you have not already done so, it would be good to start collecting as many records as you can yourself and also start regularly seeing a doctor now. There will be time before the long form arrives, so you have time to establish a relationship with a doctor. Hope this helps.

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  15. Hi I got my first disability update report in five years. My question is I don’t currently have a primary doctor but I do see my pain management doctor every month for prescription refills, check ups and back procedures does not have a primary doctor effect my disability. also on question 6 hospitalized or surgery is this a red flag question or should I fill it out if it pertains to me.

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    1. Having a primary doctor is not required for disability.

      However, it’s a good idea to have a doctor who is willing to support your application in case any problems come up. If your pain management doctor is the doctor you regularly see, you might wish to check with them to see if you have their support, or to look into getting a primary doctor for the future so you have someone who understands your disability.

      If you have been hospitalized, just write what is true. It won’t cause a problem.

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  16. Thank you for the valuable info! I passed my first short form review and wanted to know if my status changed from MIP to MINE. I’m afraid to call my local Social Security office to find out if my Review Cycle has changed from 3 years to seven years because I’m worried that it might trigger a CDR.
    Do I have anything to worry about?

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    1. I’m sorry this comment got lost.

      The people at your local office don’t have the power to trigger a CDR (I guess unless you call and say you’re not disabled anymore).

      I do not think a short form can create a change in status though.

      Congrats on it going well. 🌷

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  17. I received the short letter a couple of months ago and just received the letter stating no review at this time, but it doesn’t say how long before the next review. Any ideas?

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  18. I received a short form two months ago. I filled it out correctly. Noe they sent me the long form. I have only received disability payments for a little over a year and they are doing both a short form and now long form CDR. Are they trying to figure out a way to stop or deny me benefits? I do not understand why they are reviewing me this aggressively in a short amount of time. I have multiple issues which has not improved. Should I be concerned? Thank you.

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    1. 5% of short forms are randomly selected for long form reviews. If there was nothing unusual on your form, it might have just been a random selection and nothing to worry about.

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          1. I pray it doesn’t get to the appeal stage. The reason I believe they decided to do both the short form and long form is because on my initial approval letter it stated they expected me to improve. Which has not been the case, in fact, I am worse now. I shudder at the thought of their discontinuing my benefits because this is how I support my family. I am truly unable to work anymore and I am sad about that.

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            1. If your medical records show your condition has not improved, that is all that is needed to pass a medical review. It is much easier to pass then when you first apply.

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            1. It is the same as for applications. They just request your medical records. However, sometimes the records get lost or go missing, so it’s helpful to call and make sure they get there.

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  19. I received a Short form disability update Report. I stupidly did not put spaces between words in section 5. Should I use white out to correct this? I went on disability in early 2013 for depression, anxiety, and bipolar. Just months after that I was in a severe accident. I received a traumatic head injury. I wa in a coma several weeks. I also lost my left arm above the elbow. I had a review wit a doctor about 3 years ago. He took down this information. My level is low. Should I make remarks about my amputation and traumatic head injury or should they have this.

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    1. I don’t know if it is better to white out or leave as is. SSA guidelines don’t have rules about this, but I don’t think you have to worry. it won’t change the outcome of the review either way.

      It is up to you if you wish to include remarks. Remarks usually make the review take longer.

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    2. Hi Carrie Allen. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind telling me if you were placed on the” medical improvement not expected” review cycle? I had a hearing before an ALJ for the very same conditions and everything went well. I haven’t received a decision yet. I’m curious how SSA sees mental health in terms of cdr? Thanks in advance!

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  20. Hi my review just came up. They sent me one packet to fill out I think it may have been a short form. Now I got two packets to take to two different dr’s also two more packets for me to fill out and one packet for a friend to fill out. Why so many packets? Should I be worried. My condition hasn’t improved. 15 visits to the er in the last 12 months.

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  21. Thank you very much for your quick reply. My form will be in the mail tomorrow with my fingers crossed that it makes it through without a problem.

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  22. Help please – I just finished filling out my short form and had it all ready to send tomorrow. I just realized I totally misspelled the info for one of my doctor’s visits — “gynological” is what I wrote – Fibro brain strikes again. I don’t know why I didn’t think to look it up before I wrote it. It looked correct in the moment. Only after when I was going over everything one last time did I realize just how wrong it is. It seems like way too much to try to white out. Should I just leave it? Will it most likely get me flagged? Thanks for your very informative posting on this subject.

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    1. Hi valerie, I haven’t seen any specific rules on this, but I can’t imagine it will be a problem. I’ve never heard of anyone having a problem because of a spelling mistake.

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    1. They usually check bank accounts during financial reviews, not during disability update reports. Of course, I have no way to know for sure what will happen with each person’s case. I hope it goes well for you.

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  23. Hi, on a CDR form question 5 should I write down both my primary and secondary conditions or could I just put down my primary condition only, on reason for visit all three lines.
    Thanks

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  24. PS. Part II of Message send one hour ago. (Please do not print my entire last name in my first part I of my message- Thank you!!!)

    At my reapplication for SSD Doctor interview – I was going to get my Doctor to type a brief note on her letterhead with my five diagnosis and give this letter to my examing SSDI Doctor.
    Where else should I have my Doctor fax this note about my diagnoses -as they increased from my initial application for SSDI.
    Thank you in advance.

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  25. Hello. I received a long form for reapplication for SSDI. Initially when I received SSDI in 2015 – I had three medical diagnosis – post infectious Irritable Bowel DO – diarrhea predominant due to C. Diff/ ;’chronic diarrhea /chronic abdominal pain & fecal incontinence. On my long update – I put same three diagnosis plus 3 new ones- Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, SIBO and Full Thickness Rectal Prolapse/fecal incontinence.
    I attached my doctor visits ( tests& tx MCAS) doc visits & treatment for Full Thickness rectal Prolapse/ fecal incontinence. Plus nutritionist.
    I probably also have Ehler Danlos Syndrome too.
    I am scheduled to see SS’s Doctor in one week. I am freaking out. I am in bed much of the day. Please advise.
    Ps – I was going to bring the SS Doc a couple of good articles on Mast cell Activation Syndrome .
    Thank you in advance !!!

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  26. Hello, I just received my first long form for Disability review. It has been 7yrs since I have been on disability and my first review and I do know it is standard. I am so confused because I got a call from the administration and she left a message saying that she did not mean to send me the short form I could of just did the interview over the phone but when I called her back she never returned my call and then I got the short form in the mail and then i just recieved the long form today. I have Crohn’s disease and it is still active but I have not had to go the to the hospital this year but I have been going to my doctor’s appointments and I was on Imuran but a couple of months ago I started Humira. I have developed HS(hidradentis suppurativa) in relation to my Crohns and I have joint pain. My colon ruptured and during surgery was how I found out i had Crohn’s disease and I almost died My caseworker called and said he called my dermatologist(diagnosed HS) twice to get my medical records , and said very rudely that he would not try to get them again and that I could get them but it really does not matter if he has them or not. I said well I thought I was suppose to list all of my illnesses and he said well do you really want us to look at a skin condition to continue your benefits, he was the one to tell me I can get them and take them to my local security office. It makes me a little nervous that my case worker would not let me get a word in and I feel like I need to just accept his rudeness. My case got forwarded to the Arkansas disabilty office. I just recieved my long form today and I got a letter today stating my form needs to be turned in by 9/27. I got another letter today stating that it needs to be turned in by 10/07. I hope I can keep my benefits, but should I also prepare for an appeal.

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  27. Hi sleepygirl

    Me its been 2 months since i sent in my short form and i havent heard a thing. Last short form they sent the approval letter earlier then now. Im worried sick i might get a long form. I called they said its still pending.

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  28. Hello,

    My daughter suffers from mental intellectual development and has become hard to manage over the years due to her constant suicidal attempts and depression, as of my age 72, I left her in the care of her older cousin, whom she is close with and was excited to stay with.

    Recently, my daughter received a short form to fill out in mail her cousin informed me of because she’s never filled anything out like this.

    She moved in with her cousin at the end of last year, I helped in moving her. She hasn’t seen a doctor there yet because everything she is learning is tough. She has had appointments where she used to live over the span of 2 years. I placed those there since it asked for most recent doctor visits since 2016. Do you think this will trigger the system to send out a long form?

    I am hoping it makes no difference. She has had a lot of depression and mental breakdowns and because of this thought it good for her to have change of scenery. I taught her how to manage her money which her cousin helps her out too and allowed her to be her own payee until her cousin could take over.

    Her form numbers on first row are DC/ 1988/0000/31806490 on the second row is n-7/M/0103. She hasn’t worked she cannot understand people’s directions or barely read. She has had doctor’s visit. I do not know if the machine based on the form codes would send a long form, but I am preparing to help fill that one out with her cousin too, if she does. I keep telling her cousin I doubt she will get a form, but, you never know.

    What would be the chances of her receiving a long form based off the codes?

    Like

    1. Hi zaniqe,

      I cannot say for sure how your daughter’s case will be processed, but yes if she is not in regular medical care there is a chance she will be sent the long form.

      If her condition is in any way treatable, then it would probably be helpful if she started regular care again with a doctor. That is something SSA does look for in reviews.

      I hope it goes very well for your family.

      Like

        1. I am letting you know everything turned out great. They didn’t even need to review her case. Thanks for this helpful page. It didn’t even take 2 months which was great. She sent her paper in early priority mail with tracking in Aug 15 on 19 they got it. Just today 10/12/2018 I got the letter for her short form saying they will keep the info and let her know if they need to do another update.

          Like

  29. Is short form due 30 days from date on the form or date revived? Date on form is 8/10, I’m just getting around to mailing it back today 8/24. Wounding if I should bring it to local office or drop in mail. Fearing the form may arrive late , causing me problems.
    Thank you

    Like

    1. I am not sure the answer, but usually SSA allows a few days for mailing.

      I probably would not bring it to the local office. Short forms are handled by a completely different office and could get lost if it goes to the wrong place. Hope it goes well for you.

      Like

  30. Oh, no! I really wish I’d seen this site before I sent my short form in. I had a full page of attachments of all my Dr visits. I had gastric sleeve surgery so had to go every month for 6 months prior to surgery to see the doctor plus nutritionist and exercise specialist, lab work, etc. I Put down every time I went. I also saw my regular doctor during the 2 years they asked me about. positive I also wrote in remarks. I can’t find my copy to see my code or exactly what I wrote. I’m in a panic now. Sent it back to them the Beginning of June and have heard nothing yet😩

    Like

  31. Hi. In the reason for for visit boxes I wrote ANXIETY AND OCD. I should have only put a space between the two disorders but will writing “AND” cause a problem? Thank you.

    Like

  32. Hi I did the short form in February 2018 & on July 20th 2018 I received the long form. I’ve been on disability for 4 yrs, I had to go before the ALJ and got it then. I’ll be turning 50 on August 11th…will they use the grid for age 50 & over or will they use the grid for 45-49? My conditions hasn’t improved

    Like

    1. Hi Sue, I’m not sure which grid they will use, but if your conditions haven’t improved and you are in regular treatment, most reviews pass without a problem. I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

  33. Hi Sleepygirl,

    Just to confirm, you have seen people get a “short review” form for two consecutive review cycles, without getting the longer/full review? Just want to make sure I understand you correctly and confirm.

    Thanks for replying!

    Like

    1. Yes, I have seen that happen 🙂 I don’t know the formula for when they decide to do short or long reviews – I haven’t seen any regs that give that information.

      Like

  34. Hi,

    This might sound like a dumb question but…

    When a person is up for review for the first time and they end up receiving the short form, once that’s approved (in my case it was many months later), the next time I receive contact from SS regarding a medical review I’m assuming it would be the long review? I’m guessing they wouldn’t do a “short review” twice in a row?

    Thanks

    Like

    1. David – no. I have been on SSDI for 18 years. Every 2-3 years I get a short form and as quick as I get it, I mail
      It right back. Personally, in cases such as myself and the older I get it spins my head since I will not and am not improving. When I reach SS age the SSDI will be reclassified as just SS benefits. But, you will always get the short form first unless you start working PT – if you do you need to notify SSA that you are supplementing your income. They will send you a bunch of forms and as long as you stay within the parameters they just continue benefits. For a while I did accident investigation reports from home and when I realized that I was supposed to inform SSA, I contacted them and apologized for not doing it immediately. They actually applauded me for my honesty – LOL. My opinion, guy prob thought to himself that I was an idiot. 😀

      Like

  35. On the long form is all the medical information needed? What if I only have a mental disability and no physical disability?

    Like

    1. You would need to check the form you are filling out. Some ask for all doctors in past three years. Some ask for all doctors with knowledge of your disability. When in doubt, it’s usually best to just include everyone. Sometimes physical health doctors make notes about mental health. Also, sometimes physical health impairments help a mental health claim.

      Like

  36. I did my short a couple weeks ago. I put it in mail. I took pictures of it to make sure It looked legible. I look at it today and realized I made a mistake. On the dr. Visits your supposed to put month and year. Well on my last one I put in 10 for month but messed up on the year and put the day the apt. Was on which was 29. I feel so foolish and like I just brought on a panic attack. I have been on disability for over twenty years and my brain injury may have just caused my paper to confuse a computer !

    Like

  37. Hi, I have the Disability Update Report (SSA-455) and need some guidance on question 5- the medical visit reasons section. Please respond before I post my info

    Like

  38. Hello,
    Thank you so much for all your effort you put into this! I had a disability doctor review last June 2017 and never heard anything. I am continuing to get benefits but have no idea if I am going to have another in 3 years, 7 years etc. I am afraid to contact social security to find out because I am worried it will alert them to maybe they forgot to finish mine and I was denied etc. Is it best not to contact them?

    Like

    1. The people who answer the phones at social security aren’t involve in decision making, but they can open your file on the computer and read to you what it says – if they can find it. I don’t think it hurts to ask.

      If it’s been a year with no reply, perhaps something got lost in the mail.

      Like

  39. Hi.
    I just received the short form.. Question 3 asks about going back to work..
    Has it been discussed
    Dr said No
    Dr said yes
    Im a bit apprehensive because in a recent report for my disability insurance one of my Dr’s. said I can do sedentary work.. but this is being disputed based on my overall disability. If I check yes is it best to follow up with notes? and do I need to worry?
    Thank You

    Like

    1. Sorry I do not have an exact answer. I think the best you can do is check whatever is true. It may not wind up being an issue (many people work part time while on disability.)

      If you wind up getting a long form, you could ask your doctor if they think you are capable of full time work (or work earning over $1,180 per month) if they do not think you can, you could ask for a short note confirming this – since this is one of the criteria for SSDI.

      I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

  40. I received my short form this week and I want to avoid the long form if any way possible. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I was able to work from home over the phone for about 8 months. Very min hours. I was let go because it was too stressful for me to keep up with the companies changing procedures. 1- do you think a job I no longer work will cause me to get the Long form. I do go see a psychologist every 3 months and take medication.
    I am now 4 months pregnant. 2- should I put the pregnancy down as one of my recent doctor’s appt or will that make it worse?
    3_lastly the codes on my form on the second line read 3/DTA/M/0052…..not sure what the DTA means? any advice would be grateful

    Like

    1. I think you should just put down what is the truth. Seeking medical care for pregnancy will not hurt your application.

      I cannot know for sure how they will process your claim, but I have met many people who worked small amounts and did not get long forms.

      I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

  41. One more question, how much time do we have to send the form back to them? I dont see a return by date on the form. Thank you so much.

    Like

  42. Thank you for providing all this great info. Dealing with an SSDI review is so nerve wracking. You’ve definitely helped to ease my mind a little, so…thanks again! Kim

    Like

  43. Hi quick question. Been disabled for 6 years, last Christmas(2017) I worked a very short time, about 6 weeks for a companies peak period. Worked very few hours & I did not go over the amount I can legally earn. I do not work now & it was too hard so I won’t do it again. Will my yes for question one on the short form cause the computer to send me long form? Is it possible the computer will still approve my continuation? Thanks for your time.

    Like

  44. Hello. On question 5 – is it recommended to list therapy if that is one of the last 3 appointments or just show last 3 psychiatrist visits? Also what about the reasons for visits – is it better to use diagnostic type wording like bipolar/depression or a specific reason like medication management? Thanks!

    Like

    1. I have not seen any recommendations either way. It makes sense to me to include therapy. Most people list diagnosis, but as far as I know both ways would be good.

      Like

  45. Hello,

    I am on disability for bipolar and PTSD only.

    I see my psychiatrist every 3 months. I also see my regular doctor, PCP, for other medical stuff that has nothing to do with psychiatric needs. On the form, as you know, it says list your 3 most recent medical visits with in the last year. Should I only include my psychiatrist visits or should I include all? If I include all, I won’t be able to list my psychiatrist appointments on the forms because I have been to my PCP, 4 times in the last 3 months. I am worried they might think I haven’t seen my psychiatrist recently if I only include the very last 3 visits from my regular medical stuff. Make sense? I am thinking I should only list my psychiatrist appointments since that is what I am on disability for, right? Why would they care about the other doctor appointments? I’m confused on this. Thank you in advance.

    Like

    1. Hi Abby,

      I have never seen any specific rules addressing this point. It is an excellent question.

      I have seen people do it both ways and not have any problems as long as the three visits listed are recent.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for speedy response. It is much appreciated. I will go with just listing the psychiatrist appointments then. One more question, it asks you to list “reasons for visits”. How do I answer that when it’s a psychiatrist appointment? I seen you answer a similar question down below, but I just want to be sure.

        Like

  46. I don’t have a doctor and as a result, I cannot answer question 3 or I woukd have trouble answering it. I need help with this. I can answer 1 and 2 since have not worked nor attended school since the two-year period starting in June 2016. Questions 5 and 6 I can answer since I have not seen a doctor since 2016; I have not been hospitalized or had surgery since June 2016.

    Like

    1. Hi Mike,

      If you have not been to a doctor in the past two years, you will most likely be sent a long form review, no matter what you write on this form.

      Do you have the ability to start going to a doctor again now? Social Security will request your recent doctor’s records so this may be helpful for you.

      More information on communicate with social security if you have not been to the doctor: https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/how-to-get-to-the-doctor-when-you-cant-get-to-the-doctor/

      There is more info on what happens during a review here: https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/how-to-keep-up-good-medical-records-while-on-disability/

      I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

  47. I am filling this out for my brother. He is working so I am confused by section 1 a. I printed out the current month and year in the first set of boxes under Work Ended per the instructions. Do I have to fill out sections 2 and 3 also with work began and work ended. He has been at the same job the entire time he has been disabled

    Like

  48. Thank you for the great site. I am wondering how likely is it that someone will get two short forms in a row? Thank you for the help. 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi KK, I have never seen a formula for what they send when. But it does seem like some people start out getting long forms and then get switched to short forms at some point.

      Like

  49. I’ve been on SSD for a little over three years, and in the process I took a couple of online classes. I recently received my Disability Update Report and made note of doing some vocational work (according to one of the questions). Does this raise a red flag to SS?

    Jensen T

    Like

    1. Hi Jensen,

      The SSA policy that I have seen does not give exact specifics on what causes them to do a further review. Partly, it may different for each person depending on how their case is coded.

      If you do get a review, if you are in regular treatment and have good medical records, most reviews pass without a problem. If you don’t get a review, then that is even easier.

      I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

  50. Does hospitalized include ER visit ? Also , I had GI test under anesthesia (because I take certain meds) and so was admitted to the hospital , but I went home after it was over. Do I count that as hospitalized?

    Like

  51. Hello and thanks for your site. I put remarks on my 455 form. I went to my local office and they said, dont worry about it because SS will send second form in about 30 days. Would you wait for the second notice or just send in the one with remarks and bar codes? Do you know how long it takes to send second notice? Are you aware SS say that a human handles all mailers, according to what I am reading , I have nothing to worry about “.The fronts of most mailers are optically scanned and the data are entered into the electronic data file that is created for each scannable mailer.

    All mailers require some keying, including responses on the back of the form (questions 5 and 6) and relevant short remarks of 30 words or 200 characters or less. All keyed data becomes part of the data file for that mailer”

    Like

    1. Hi Ken,

      Thanks for this info.

      My understanding is: someone may type in the initial info when the form arrives.

      If remarks are blank or less than 30 words, the form is then sent to a computer to decide.

      If there are attachments or more than 30 words, it is sent to a human to decide.

      Unless there is some kind of problem, the decision should be the same either way, the human decision will just take longer.

      If I were you, I would send it back by the deadline and not take the risk of waiting for a new form to be mailed. If you miss the second form, or the second form gets lost in the mail, that could cause a lot of problems.

      I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

    2. P.S. Most short forms pass without any problem. Putting remarks just makes things a little slower, so you need to be a bit patient, but it is totally fine to have a remark. 🙂

      Like

  52. At what point do you inquire about the status of your disability update report? It’s been over three months since I sent in the short form. I don’t want to call attention to myself, but I am getting anxious. Thanks

    Like

    1. Janet I don’t know if they will be able to give you a status update. If you want you can call and ask. I don’t see how you can cause any problems by calling. I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

  53. Hi Pat,

    I think both of those replies look equally good, as long as both are true. They will see you are in regular mental health treatment and that is what is important. That is great that you are keeping up regular treatment.

    I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for your first question. In some situations certified mail is a really good idea, but I’m not certain if it would make a difference for a disability update report.

    I hope it goes well for you.

    Like

  54. My primary code is Depression and secondary Anxiety with an “L” for seconds line third section and a number of 0000,which I was told is all very good. I have 2 questions. One, I miised the foirst mailer so it says Seocnd request at top. Do I send this back certified to cover myself or will it flag anything, and 2 on Question 5 each visit has 16 boxes for the reason of visits. Do I put just DEPRESSION on boxes all the way down or DEPRESSEDANXIETY which all fit in the 16 boxes and are have no spaces, or should I put Depression for 2 and Anxiety for one? I go every weeks actually for both but don’t want to complicate things or set of a flag.

    Like

    1. Hi Pat,

      I think both of those replies look equally good, as long as both are true. They will see you are in regular mental health treatment and that is what is important. That is great that you are keeping up regular treatment.

      I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for your first question. In some situations certified mail is a really good idea, but I’m not certain if it would make a difference for a disability update report.

      I hope it goes well for you.

      Like

      1. Take the form to your Local Social Security Office! That is what I did when I was too sick to get it done in time to mail it back…

        Like

  55. What happens if I made an error, and need to fix one of the dates for last appointment? Do I request new form or will that flag me, or do I try to erase the wrong date and re write and will that flag me? I have long term and always get the short form.

    Like

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