Wisteria Appeals Her Continuing Disability Review

Robin Mead

Wisteria Appeals Her Disability Review

I just got a letter from disability and it’s good news!!!! I am so relieved.

I’ve been on Social Security disability for years, and this year they sent me a continuing disability review.

I was so stressed out with the paperwork, but finally got it in. Then I found out that my psychologist never submitted my records, so Social Security sent me to one of their psych doctors. My psychologist wrote a report for me, but it did not arrive in time, and Social Security made their decision before they received his report.

The decision said that I have improved and can go back to work and my disability is cancelled and my Medicare would be cancelled in two months. This means I would lose my Lyme doctor who has helped me so much.

I was just so upset. I don’t handle stress well, I get anxiety and panic attacks and nausea and couldn’t stop crying.

Steps I Took To Appeal 

These are the steps I took after getting the decision:

🌷 I went in immediately to my local office to file the appeal.

🌷 If you file within 10 days, you can request a “benefits continuation form” and submit it at the same time as the appeal forms. This continued by disability payments and my Medicare while the appeal was going on, so my disability check never stopped.

🌷 I got a copy of a report from my psychologist and attached this to the appeal. I was approved for mental health, so a report from my psychologist was the most helpful thing in my case.

🌷 I also attached my other medical records with diagnosis, blood tests reports and other records from my MD.

🌷 I got a stamped receipt to show that I had submitted everything within the ten day deadline.

🌷 A month later, Social Security wrote to my psychologist to request more information. He sent the same report in again, along with a brief cover letter.

Doctor’s Letter

My psychologist’s letter included the following statement:

“Ms. L’s anxiety and depression, along with GI distress, continue to be problematic and interfere with activities of daily living and would prevent her from sustaining a daily work schedule involving sitting or standing for period of time exceeding 20-30 minutes, walking, lifting, or carrying objects, traveling to and from work and would limit her ability to focus and concentrate on instructions and carry out normal office duties. Social interaction is difficult due to the intrusion of symptoms and nausea and irritable bowel.”

Good News

Today I got a letter saying my disability is continuing!

It’s crazy how nervous I was opening this letter. I started having a panic attack and couldn’t stop shaking. I thought I was going to have to go to a hearing, but I never did. The appeal took two months. I’m glad I can put my mind at ease.

Buttercup Appeals Her Disability Review

After nine years on SSDI, I got my first Continuing Disability Review. The review started in April and they spent six months sending more forms and sending me to the doctor. I found out in October that I was denied!

I appealed and four months later my benefits were reinstated. I didn’t have to go to court or any kind of hearings, but it was the most stressful year of my life!!!

Steps I Took To Appeal 

I decided not to do an appeal plus benefit continuation (which has a deadline of ten days) but instead just do the appeal (which has a deadline of sixty days). During the sixty days, I got letters, tests, records and medical evidence from my doctors.

I spent a lot of time and money collecting records and letters. I probably spent about $400. I collected everything in one envelop and sent it in together before the deadline. This is what I sent:

🌷 All my medical records for the past five years (doctors, lab tests, hospitals, etc). including secret doctor notes.


🌷 Three doctors’ disability letters.

🌷 RFC function form. My doctor is a naturopath, so we were able to get it co-signed by another doctor in his office who is an MD.

🌷 Appeal form

What Happened?

The first step in the appeal is “reconsideration.” That means a new Social Security case worker looks over your file and makes a decision. It takes about 3 – 4 months.  If you are denied, then you can have a hearing with a caseworker, and then a hearing with a judge.

It turned out the first caseworker had never sent requests for medical records to any of my doctors! She also never really looked at what I had submitted.

The new caseworker requested all my records directly from my doctors (including copies of records I had sent her). She reversed the decision in 4 months.

If you choose to do a Benefit Continuation, you keep getting your disability check and health insurance the whole time you are appealing. However, I chose not to do a benefit continuation, so my disability check stopped and I am still waiting for it to start again. They said it could take 6+ months to start again, and I will get a big backpay check for the months missed.

Sunflower Appeals Her Disability Review

Whenever I went to see my doctor I always tried to say something encouraging and positive about my life. I would share small successes and try to be upbeat and think positively about how good things were, even when I was having a hard time.

I did not want to focus on depression and my symptoms, I focused on anything that was going well.

After my disability review, Social Security said my condition had improved and I was no longer disabled. I never realized that by hiding my symptoms and putting on a good face I was making my medical records inaccurate and hurting my disability review.

The truth was, I still had very severe symptoms and my doctors agreed there was no way I could work full time.

I was in a panic and could not stop crying. I met with both my psychiatrist and psychologist. The psychiatrist said she would not do disability paperwork, but my psychologist was willing to write a letter for me.

I printed out and brought her a copy of the Social Security guidelines from my condition listed in the Blue Book.

We went through every sentence together and talked about how it applied to me. Then my psychologist wrote a letter using the language from the Blue Book.

I submitted the letter to Social Security, and then called the person who was reviewing my case to make sure it had gotten to the right person. Three months later I got a letter in the mail. My benefits were reinstated.

Learn More

How to Appeal a Continuing Disability Review

5 thoughts on “Wisteria Appeals Her Continuing Disability Review”

  1. Help…. I don’t know what to do about my SSI. After a redetermination my SSI was stopped because their doctors said I had improved health. I, of course, disagreed with the decision….. so I appealed it. I won my appeal after 6 months, from June to December. It has been almost 8 more months waiting for an award letter or reinstatement of my SSI benefits. I have called many times just to be told that my case would need to be reviewed and a supervisor would call me back. No calls returned….. A couple of times I called and my home office was closed so the operator sent an email to said office with an inquiry of the information I was requesting and requested a call back with my info. No response….. I’m at the end of my rope. I don’t know what else to do. I’m getting really desperate. Any suggestions?


  2. I have been telling my friends to save the stories on this blog and read them carefully. It has helped me understand and realize that we must be our own advocates. We must also help others who are lost. It’s a big scary world when we’re sick and don’t have the energy to do all of these things.


  3. I live in fear of this happening. I’m seriously too sick to prove I am sick anymore…..could barely handle the short form continuing review last time (& had the longer one the time before that & it WAS as bad as initially proving disability)…since the last review, I have become even sicker & getting to Dr appts is harder, & I have no idea if any of my Drs will be at all helpful re disability as they keep changing thanks to insurance changes & also thanks to a major lack of decent Drs around here…..the one really good one I have refuses to do any paperwork. Plus I am living in a moldy apt & trying to find a place to move & doing that it taking everything out of me, and then some. My next continuing review could be at any time now & I’m terrified. And, there is no way I could manage to get to the disability office & do what is required to appeal if need be.


    1. If you got a short form in the past, that is a good sign that you may get one again next time 🙂

      For most disability reviews, a doctor does not need to fill out any paperwork. SSA just reads your regular medical records. Anything you can do to let your doctors know what is going on with your condition, when you are able to make it there, will be a big help.

      I hope it goes well for you. I know it is veery stressful for everyone, but most reviews do pass without problems.


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