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How long does a disability need to last?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | social security disability |

If you’re seeking Social Security Disability benefits, your condition has to meet the definition of a disability that has been provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Part of this definition stipulates that the disability needs to last for a certain amount of time. Someone who is unable to work for a few weeks is not going to qualify because it’s simply not a long-term issue.

To understand exactly how this works and whether or not you may qualify, take a look at some of the main points from the definition noted below.

It has to last for at least 12 months

The main qualification you need to be aware of is that the disability has to last for an entire year. Twelve months is the absolute minimum. In some cases, disabilities will be predicted to last for the rest of an individual’s life. But even if this isn’t the case, it still has to last for at least 12 months for someone to qualify.

It has to be continuous

The definition also notes that this issue has to be continuous. It can’t be something that comes and goes. If it makes it so that you can’t work one week but then you’re fine for the next month, you’re not going to qualify. This has to be a continuous condition, even if you’re getting treatment and seeking medical attention, that means you cannot work the entire time.

What problems may this cause?

It’s understandable that the SSA has to have a definition for disability that they follow, but this strict definition can cause some issues for injured workers.

For instance, imagine that you suffered serious spinal cord injuries. Your doctor is fairly positive, however, telling you that you will recover enough to return to work in 11 months. As you can see, this is still a massive change in your life and you’re not going to be able to earn an income for almost a year, but you’re not quite far enough to qualify for disability benefits.

As such, it’s very important that you understand all of the legal options that you have as you work your way through this process. You need to know when and how to seek the benefits that you believe you deserve.