Between 1981 and 1984, the Social Security Administration terminated the benefits of almost 500,000 disabled Americans, including tens of thousand of beneficiaries with severe mental impairments. Congress became involved, in order to standardize the chaotic means by which benefits were being ceased. The legislative outcome adopted in 1984 was entitled the Medical Improvement Review Standard. This standard is best described as follows:
There is “substantial evidence” that an individual has improved medically, enabling the individual to engage in “substantial gainful activity.” Social Security will assess the impairments that the individual had at the time of the last disability decision.
Several exceptions to utilization of the above standard also exist in the law, which do not utilize the Medical Improvement Review Standard:
1. If the initial determination finding disability was “on its face” an error of fact or law.
2. If material evidence demonstrating the disability is missing or absent.