Being approved for SSD benefits means SSA had agreed that your medical conditions meet the definition of disability as listed in the Code of Federal Regulations. The underlying purpose of Social Security Disability is to provide a safety net for individuals who are struggling to work due to a physical and/or mental condition. It is a mandatory insurance program to simply help you through hard times.
While on this program, the hope is to relieve you of financial stress so you may focus on stabilizing or improving your medical conditions. In some cases, people who are approved for disability benefits only need these benefits for a short time before they are able to get back on their feet and back to work. Other people suffer from conditions that are so severe that no amount of rehabilitation will get them back to the point of returning to work. In either situation, you are not expected to “renew” your disability benefits. What SSA will do is perform a continuing review of your case to ensure you are still suffering from medical conditions that preclude work.
When you are approved for disability benefits, SSA will put a note in your file as to when a review would be recommended. The typical time frame for a review is three to five years from your approval date. However, if you are later in age, SSA may not plan to perform a review. Or, if you are younger, such as age 20-30 years old they may recommend a review in 12 months. Whenever the recommended review time frame is, a new application is not required. SSA will simply contact you for a list of the doctors you have been treating with and then request those medical records. They will review the records to determine if your conditions have improved or stayed the same. If you do not have updated medical treatment or if your records say your conditions have improved, SSA may determine you are no longer disabled. In that situation, it is recommended you seek advice from a Social Security Lawyer.
In summary, if you are approved for disability benefits you do not need to renew your benefits. What you do need to do is make sure you continue to seek medical treatment to support your medical conditions in preparation for SSA performing a continuing review of your claim.