Benefits Still Available if You Recover While Waiting

People who were disabled for more than a year, but who recovered shortly afterwards are often eligible to apply for and receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). The SSA refers to this as the “closed period” during which you are eligible for disability benefits. This is a great benefit for disabled workers for at least two reasons – first, it acknowledges the fact that applicants may suffer a disability for over a year, yet still improve shortly thereafter, and, second, it helps applicants receive financial support even if they recover, since the disability benefits process itself may take over a year.

Applicants have to meet several requirements in order for the SSA to recognize a closed period of disability. These include:

  • Ordinarily, you must file a disability benefits application within 14 months of the end of your disability
  • You can file an application within 15-36 months of the end of your disability, but you have to also show that your late application was due to your disability

For applicants who file a timely application for a closed period of benefits, the SSA then requires a five month waiting period from the start of your disability. For example, if the SSA determines that your disability began in April, then April through August will count as the five months. The SSA would consider your disability as officially starting in September. The retroactive benefits you receive then depend on the date you file for benefits. The SSA will grant at most 12 months of retroactive benefits starting from the date you apply and stopping at the date where the SSA determined your disability officially began.

Were you able to successfully receive disability benefits for a closed period? What did you do to maximize your chances of having a successful application?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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