MEDICAL IMPROVEMENT STANDARD FOR
- There must be substantial
evidence showing that there is medial improvement which is related
to the ability to work and that the individual is now able to
engage in substantial gainful activity.
- There must be both a decrease
in the severity of the impairments present at the time of the most
recent favorable medical decision, as well as an increase in the
individual's functional capacity to do basic work
- If the previous impairment met
or equaled a listing, but no longer does, medical improvement will
be found and will be deemed to relate to work ability.
Medical Improvement: "To support a finding of medical
improvement, there must be a decrease in the medical severity of
any one of the impairment(s) present at the time of the CPD
(comparison point decision). There need not be any particular
quantity or degree of decreased severity, but, of course changes
which are of minor degree and which in themselves obviously do not
increase mobility or physical or mental abilities will be
disregarded. Further, changes in test results which are
within the precision variance of a particular test will likewise be
disregarded" POMS D12 8010.0 10
Related to the ability to work: Medical improvement must
be related to the individual's ability to work. If the
improvement is not related to the ability to work, or if the
medical improvement does not make the individual able to engage in
SGA, benefits will not be terminated.
The medical improvement is related to the ability to work when
it results in "an increase in (the claimant's) functional capacity
to do basic work activities".
SSA will consider the individual's age and amount of time out
of the work force - the older a person is and the longer they have
been away from the work force, the more difficult it will be for a
person to return to ongoing employment.
SSA will do a special assessment for persons aged 50 or over
who has been receiving benefits for a long time. This
assessment may include a special work evaluation or other
Comparison Points: To determine medical improvement at
step 3, there must be a comparison between the individual's current
condition and the impairments which were present at the most recent
favorable medical decision of disability.