Social Security periodically conducts continuing disability reviews (CDRs) of those receiving disabillty or SSI benefits. See 20 C.F.R. 404.1589.
A medical review determines if an individual continues to meet the medical requirements to collect disability benefits. If the person does not meet the medical requirements, the SSA may stop the disability benefits. These reviews are scheduled every few years, depending upon the likelihood of medical improvement in a particular case.
Sometimes you see a recommended time period for a CDR in an administrative law judge's decision. For example, I had a case recently where the judge granted disability benefits to a 39 year old worker suffering from severe thoracic back pain. The very end of the decision stated: "Medical improvement is expected with appropriate treatment. Consequently, a continuing disability review is recommended in 18 months."
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
In my view, when a judge makes a recommendation for a quick CDR, it makes the judge feel better about granting disability benefits, particularly to a younger individual. In general, judges do not like the prospect of putting a person on disability for what might turn out to be many years. However, knowing that the claim will be reviewed again soon tends to relieve this concern.