Topic Categories:

Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

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Ask a question, get an answer

Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

The simple answer to this question is that Social Security disability and SSI benefits are not short-term disability programs and, thus, do not provide temporary benefits.

Social Security requires that you have to have been unable to earn a substantially gainful income, or that or you expect to be unable to do this for twelve months, due to a mental or medical condition, before you may be potentially entitled to a social security disability or SSI benefit.

Additionally, disability claims usually take time to be processed to a denial or allowance. If your disability claim is denied at the initial level (first filing), then you will have to appeal the decision. The disability appeals process usually takes a considerable amount of time, with no guarantee that you will be found disabled.

However if you have been awarded Social Security disability benefits, there is nothing in the Social Security regulations that would prevent a disability beneficiary from receiving disability benefits because of a medical or mental condition, and at some point returning to work. In fact, Social Security offers many incentives to encourage disability recipients to return to work.

For instance, there is a nine-month trial work period (these months do not have to be consecutive) in any sixty month period of time, in which disability beneficiaries may return to work without their monthly earnings amount affecting their monthly Social Security benefit.

If the beneficiary is still working at an amount above the SGA (this is known as substantial gainful activity and represents a monetary income amount above which an individual will not qualify to receive disability benefits -- this amount changes annually) limit for that year, then in the tenth month following the nine month trial work period, their Social Security benefit may be suspended.

However, if the disability beneficiary has to stop work at any time during the following thirty-six months (the thirty six month period is known as the extended period of eligibility) due to your medical condition, your benefit will be reinstated immediately.

Finally, even if you have managed to work past the extended period of eligibility, you may qualify to file an expedited reinstatement (without the need for a new disability application) at anytime during the five year period following the month your disability benefit was terminated due to work activity.

If you file an expedited reinstatement you will begin to receive your disability benefit again, however the monthly payments are provisional (upon your medical conditions still being disabling according to Social Security regulations) and will end in six months.

If the state disability agency responsible for Social Security medical determinations has not made a decision in six months, or you are medically denied for the reinstatement of a disability entitlement, provisional payments will stop. As you can see, Social Security or SSI disability is not meant to be a short term disability program and does not provide temporary benefits, however there may be situations in which an individual may actually only need to receive disability benefits for a short time.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews