How Does Social Security Process a “Medium” or “High” Profile Code (Disability Update Report)

When Social Security processes your Disability Update Report, they will make one of these decisions. Either:

a. They will send you a full Continuing Disability Review or

b. They will skip the full review and just approve you

HOW SHOULD I FILL OUT THIS FORM?

Below you will find some excruciating, confusing, and somewhat boring detail on how Social Security process your form. If you would like to skip all this, you can! Just go ahead and read: Ten Tips and Tricks for Filling Out a Disability Update Report

WHAT’S MY PROFILE CODE?

When you get your Disability Update Report, it will include a profile code: Low, Medium, or High. Here’s how to find it: How to Find Your Secret Code

Information on this page comes from the SSA policy for the short form.

If your profile code is “Medium” or “High”, here’s how they make the decision:

HAVE YOU WORKED?

If you have not worked, this question will have no impact.

If you have worked, Social Security reviews work activity using a set of complicated SSA policies. These result will be taken into account by the reviewer, along with anything you write or attach. If the reviewer finds any indication “possible medical improvement,” this may lead to a review.

HAVE YOU ATTENDED SCHOOL OR WORK TRAINING?

  • No – Won’t cause a review
  • Yes – May cause a review unless you have enclosed information showing that it is very unlikely your condition has or will improve.

HAVE YOU DISCUSSED WORK WITH YOUR DOCTOR?

  • Have Not Discussed – Won’t cause a review
  • Cannot work – Won’t cause a review
  • Can work – Without remarks or attachments – will cause a review
  • Can work – With remarks or attachments – May cause a review unless you have enclosed information which “raises doubt about the response.” Reviewer may also contact you or your representative payee for more information. 

DESCRIBE YOUR HEALTH NOW

  • Worse – Won’t cause a review
  • Same or Better – Without remarks or attachments – Will cause a review
  • Same or Better – With remarks or attachments – May cause a review unless anything you wrote or attached “raises doubt about the response.” For example, medical documents that show you are still severely impaired. Reviewer may call you or your representative payee for more information. 

HAVE YOU GONE TO THE DOCTOR OR CLINIC

Recent doctor’s appointments (within the last 2 years)

  • Yes – May or may not cause a review. Reviewer will take into account any remarks or attachments. Reviewer will also take into account the frequency and reasons for your visits. Reviewer may also call you or your representative payee for more information. May cause a review unless there is information that “indicates no likelihood of medical improvement.”
  • No – May cause a review. However, they may check if there is a good reason listed in your remarks or attachments. They may also call you or your representative payee for more information. If there is a good reason, this may be accepted. May cause a review if anything indicates possible medical improvement.

HAVE YOU BEEN HOSPITALIZED OR HAD SURGERY

  • No – Without remarks or attachments – won’t cause a review
  • No – With remarks or attachments – May or may not cause a review. May cause a review if anything written indicates that the hospitalization or surgery caused medical improvement
  • Yes – Without remarks or attachments – won’t cause a review
  • Yes – With remarks or attachments – May or may not cause a review. May cause a review if anything written indicates that the hospitalization or surgery caused medical improvement

Notes: Reviewer may also take into consideration your diagnosis or impairment, and the affects of hospitalization/surgery. If there is indication that you had a procedure which caused possible medical improvement, this could also cause a review.

Notes: If you answered “no” to the question about doctors visits and then also answered “no” or left blank the question about hospitalizations, this may also cause a review unless you have shown proof of a “credible reason for an absence of treatment”

BLANK QUESTIONS

If questions are left blank, they may call you. If important information is missing, this may trigger a review.

LEARN MORE

More info on: How to Fill Out a Disability Update Report 

If you would like to read some excruciating and impenetrable instructions on how the Short Form is processed, here you can find the policy manual for the short form.

Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons:

 

13 thoughts on “How Does Social Security Process a “Medium” or “High” Profile Code (Disability Update Report)”

  1. I’ve had two CDRs since being approved for SSDI in mid-2013. The first CDR was in 2017 where my initial short form with (H) priority somehow triggered a full review, but I was approved continuance in early 2018. My second (recent) CDR short form with a (M) priority and same answers as the first CDR was submitted in mid-June 2021, and I received a letter from the SSA that I am not being reviewed at this time. I wonder if the lingering COVID pandemic has suspended the review process for the time being?

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  2. Hi,
    Just got a short form in the mail yesterday. Im on the fence about placing an “X” on “Medium” or “Worse”.
    My profile is MEDIUM. With regards to:
    DESCRIBE YOUR HEALTH NOW

    Worse – Won’t cause a review
    Same or Better – Without remarks or attachments – Will cause a review
    Same or Better – With remarks or attachments – May cause a review unless anything you wrote or attached “raises doubt about the response.” For example, medical documents that show you are still severely impaired. Reviewer may call you or your representative payee for more information.

    Please help me understand social Security‘s perspective with regards to Going forth with a full medical review if someone answers “same”. Clearly “same” means no improvement…

    I cant wrap my head around this… I clearly want to avoid a full review (its an absolute nightmare!)

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  3. Hi. I am on a long form C.D.R…. I developed autoimmune disease (UCTD) after a Bilateral Total Knee Replacements with Revision of Right Knee Replacement due to Knee Instability, Heart Failure. Originally approved for Knee Replacements, arrhythmia and severe asthma. I have filed a new SSA Form 16 (new disability application) ahead in case I fail the CDR long form. Is this a right decision or should I cancel it? I am afraid SSDI will be stopped if I fail the CDR. Please help me sleepy g.

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  4. I just filled out my Disability Update short form for second time in 8 years. I just noticed I put two of the doctor visit dates wrong by one week. I am so upset with myself for doing that. Will the computer scan not approve me because of the dates being wrong by a week for those two visits ? Is there anything I can do to provide SSA the correct dates ? I’m so fearful this will not allow the computer scan to automatically approve like it’s done before. Should I call my local SSA office or resend the form? The form I sent is already in the Payment Center. I’m hoping that possibly this won’t trigger the long form. Any advise or feedback would be so appreciated as I a, worried sick over this. Thank you!

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  5. I just received the short form and I am profiled M/0122. I am worse medically, sadly and the Doctor said their is definitely no way I can work. I have two diagnoses codes primary is Back Disorders and second is Depression. I am so uncomfortable around new people or anyone in general really that I only see my Primary care probably twice a month for all my meds and my Therapist once a month until last two visits I was in too much pain to try and sit and talk for an 45 min to 1hr. Therapist just retired on me, has me spinning seen her for 10 years, she was great. My wife was laid off in April so my check and savings is it till she finds a job ( too qualified and educated so far, go figure). And I receive this form over 6 months early. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I am so close to completely losing it.

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  6. I just received the short form and I am profiled M/0122. I am worse medically, sadly and the Doctor said their is definitely no way I can work. I have two diagnoses codes primary is Back Disorders and second is Depression. I am so uncomfortable around new people or anyone in general really that I only see my Primary care probably twice a month for all my meds and my Therapist once a month until last two visits I was in too much pain to try and sit and talk for an 45 min to 1hr. Therapist just retired on me, has me spinning seen her for 10 years, she was great. My wife was laid off in April so my check and savings is it till she finds a job ( too qualified and educated so far, go figure). And I receive this form over 6 months early. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I am so close to completely losing it.

    Like

  7. Hi I’m visually impaired and had an issue with report both times it was filled out the people that assisted me made errors I’m now concerned this will cause me a issue,a new form is on it’s way but it’s the third one,what should I do at this point?

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    1. Are you able to go to your local Social Security office? If you’re able to make an appointment there, someone there will help you fill out the form. It is better to make an appointment, otherwise you’ll have to wait a long time. If you can’t go there, you could try calling and seeing If someone is able to help you with it over the phone, I’m not sure if they can do that or not. I hope you can find someone, but whatever happens do not worry, you’re not going to lose your benefits just because someone made a mistake on one form, it may just mean some more time to sort things out.

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  8. Hi, I was looking at my last cdr and came across your blog, which has alot of useful info btw. under dx codes I have 2 but the main\first one is 2408 which according to the poms is basically dx has been established but doesnt relate to any specific thing. Any ideas? my second dx was clear and I applied do to multiple things. Also if you have an “L” does that mean the next cdr would be same?

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