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 Social Security Disability or SSI for a short period of time, i.e. Temporary Disability?

Receiving Disability Benefits for a Past Period, or Closed Period

When a person decides to file for disability with the Social security administration, they may not be aware of it but they are filing for benefits under the assumption that their condition is likely to be permanent, or at the very least longstanding (SSA does conduct periodic reviews of cases every few years to see if a person has experienced medical improvement in their condition, but only a small percentage of individuals will have their benefits ceased). Social Security also assumes that the individual who is filing for disability will be totally disabled.

What does "totally disabled" mean for the social security administration? Simply that the claimant's condition meets the social security definition of disability which states that the individual must have a condition that is severe enough to last at least one full year and impose enough functional limitations that they cannot work and earn a substantial and gainful income during that time.

Given that social security assumes that, for a person to be approved for disability, their condition must fully disable them from the ability to work and must be relatively permanent, it should be easy to see that benefits are not typically awarded for short temporary periods of time. In other words, SSA does not offer temporary disability benefits.

Therefore, if you have a claim for disability benefits at the disability application level or the reconsideration appeal level, then the likely outcome will be that you will be denied for Social Security Disability or denied for SSI if your records do not indicate that you are both currently disabled and likely to stay that way for at least twelve months (twelve months is the duration minimum for qualifying for disability).

Having said that, though, if your case is decided at the second appeal level, which is the level of an administrative law judge disability hearing, then it will be possible to receive disability benefits for a specified period of time which exists in the past, even if your condition has improved and you do not currently satisfy the social security administration definition of disability.

This is known as a "Closed Period" and while a person who is awarded for a closed period will not receive regular monthly benefit checks, they may end up receiving thousands of dollars for a past period of time in which they disabled to the extent that they could not work and earn a substantial and gainful living.

Note: Closed periods are never awarded at the initial claim or reconsideration appeal levels, but only when a case has gone before a disability judge and, usually, only when a disability attorney or non-attorney representative is involved and can argue for the awarding of a closed period. This, of course, points out again why claimants who have been previously denied at the lower levels should not give up on their claims--because even if continuing monthly benefits are not won, thousands of dollars received for a closed period can make a tremendous difference in a claimant's financial position.

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?
Can I get disability if I have seizures?
Social Security Disability, ongoing education, and going to school?
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New Jersey?
Getting a Disability Lawyer in New Jersey

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.