What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
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: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials