Sunday, January 25, 2015

You Need not be Permanently Disabled to Qualify for Social Security

It is possible to receive disability from Social Security benefits or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) if you are only temporarily disabled. You can be approved for disability benefits only if your medical condition is expected to disable you for at least one year, which is commonly referred to as a “short-term” medical condition.

Will a disability claimant whose condition has improved and is no longer disabling still be eligible to receive disability benefits? Yes and no. The claimant whose condition is no longer disabling will not be eligible for ongoing disability benefits, but they may be eligible to receive benefits for the period they were unable to work. This is known as a "closed period" of benefits.

To qualify for closed period disability benefits, the disability must have persisted for at least twelve months. The application for benefits must be filed within 14 months after the disability ended. If you miss this deadline but can prove that your failure to file the application on time was due to an impairment, you may be allowed to file an application between 15 and 36 months after the disability ended.  

Note that while permanent disability is not required to receive benefits, total disability is. You should be unable to work due to your physical condition, whether temporary or permanent. Unlike veterans benefit systems that award percentages of disability, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) require you to be 100% unable to do any substantial work to qualify.

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