TN 8 (04-23)

DI 28010.001 Definition and Overview of Medical Improvement (MI)


20 CFR 404.1594(b)(1), 20 CFR 416.994(b)(1)(i), 20 CFR 416.994a(c).

A. Definition of MI

MI is any decrease in the medical severity of an individual’s impairment(s) that was present at the time of the most recent favorable medical decision that the individual was disabled or continued to be disabled, known as the comparison point decision (CPD).

A finding of MI must be based on improvements in the symptoms, signs, or laboratory findings associated with the CPD impairment(s); see DI 28010.015. Although the decrease in severity may be of any quantity or degree to find MI has occurred, disregard minor changes in signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings that do not represent MI and could not result in a finding that disability has ended. For additional information and examples of minor changes, see DI 28010.015B.

For scenarios where the medical improvement review standard does not apply, see DI 28005.001F.

B. Which impairment(s) is considered when evaluating MI

1. Established impairments

For the purposes of evaluating MI, only consider an impairment(s) "present" at the time of the CPD if the supporting evidence at the CPD established the existence of the impairment(s). We consider an impairment(s) established if the CPD file included medical evidence that established a medically determinable impairment (MDI). For additional information about MDIs, see DI 24501.020 and DI 25205.005.

2. Unestablished impairments

When assessing MI, we do not consider impairments that were only alleged at the CPD. If the CPD file did not contain supporting evidence to establish an MDI, the impairment is "unestablished."

Unestablished impairments or new impairments that have occurred since the CPD are evaluated at the following steps in the CDR sequential evaluation process:

For Title II and adult Title XVI CDR cases-

For Title XVI child CDR cases-

  • Step 3 - current severity and meets, medically or functionally equals a listing; see DI 28005.030C.3.

C. References


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DI 28010.001 - Definition and Overview of Medical Improvement (MI) - 04/05/2023
Batch run: 04/05/2023