Will the Medical Rules for Receiving Disability Grant Benefits for Short Term Social Security or SSI?

Technically, no. That's because the social security definition of disability assumes that for a person to receive a Social Security Disability or SSI award, their condition must be long lasting.

It is not written in stone that the condition must be absolutely permanent. And this is evident in the fact that SSA will conduct a review of a claim every few years. The purpose of a disability review, of course, is to A) See if the individual has experienced medical improvement in their condition, be it mental or physical and B) Subsequent to any improvement they may have experienced, check to see if they still meet the qualifications for disability.

However, even though the social security administration assumes that a condition may potentially improve over time, disability benefits are granted under the implicit notion that a person's condition is severe enough that they may, in fact, never return to work activity.

The actual defintition of disability used by SSA makes clear that a person's state of disability must be severe enough that it lasts for one full year. Conditions that are severe enough to satisfy all other facts of the social security definition of disability (meaning that they impose enough physical and mental restrictions that an individual no longer has the ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful income), but do not last a full 12 months time--meaning that they will be considered to have improved--will be be denied on the basis of "duration".

To recap, representation in the form of a disability lawyer or disability representative.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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