How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

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

That said, there are instances in which a person is not awarded ongoing disability benefits but is awarded disability for a specific period of time in the past during which they did meet the qualifications for disability. These are not referred to as temporary benefits. Instead, this is known as a closed period but it can only be awarded by an administrative law judge at a Social Security hearing.

How do you get ongoing disability?

When your claim is evaluated, to be approved it must be shown that your condition is severe and long-lasting. How severe and how long-lasting? To qualify, Social Security requires that you have to have been unable to earn a substantially gainful income, or that you expect to be unable to do this for twelve months, due to a mental or medical condition. So, the condition must be considered to last a full year in order for you to become eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI.

How long is the process?

How long does it take to get disability? The disability application itself will usually take between one and six months, with most claims being decided in 3-4 months. If your disability claim is denied at the initial application level (first filing), then you will have to appeal the decision. The disability appeals process takes a considerable amount of time, but reconsideration appeals are usually quicker, with most of these appeals being decided between 1-3 month, and some within 30 days.

Social Security Hearings, unfortunately, take much longer simply because getting a hearing date can take over a year in most states. However, hearings can represent a much higher chance of being approved. At a hearing, a claimant can, with their attorney, or alone, present an argument for approval and provide updated medical evidence, often including statements from physicians.

Can you go back to work after getting a disability award?

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, their benefit will be reinstated immediately.

Expedited reinstatements

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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Social Security Temporary Disability - Can I get temporary benefits?
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
A question regarding Temporary Social Security Disability Benefits and closed periods
Is it possible to file for Temporary Disability Income through Social Security?
Can you get Social Security Disability or SSI for a short period of time, i.e. Temporary Disability?
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
How do you get Social Security Disability?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Alabama
How long can it take to get disability in Colorado?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.