As many people understand, an injury or ailment can last for a long time or for a short time. Sometimes illnesses come and go quickly, and others can affect a person for the rest of the person’s life. While many people may hope that a particular issue is solved quickly, the Social Security Administration has set strict time lines when it comes to qualifying for Social Security disability benefits. Many may wonder, how long does a particular issue need to last in order to qualify for SSDI benefits?
As the SSA explains, a person can only qualify for SSDI benefits if they have an ailment that keeps them from working. Specifically, the illness — either physical or mental — must keep people from performing substantial gainful activity. However, beyond this, the person’s absence from work must be expected to last at least 12 months. Or, the ailment must be expected to result in the person’s death.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, the 12 month requirement must be satisfied. In order to meet this requirement, the person cannot be able to engage in work for 12 continuous months. The time starts at the onset of the ailment and must continue for one year. In order to meet this rule, different ailments cannot be combined to meet the 12 month requirement, but a single issue must last the entire time.
The SSA says that if a person is expected to return to work — or substantial gainful activity — within the 12 month period, then the person’s application for SSDI must be denied.
There are a lot of technical requirements that must be satisfied in order for a person to qualify for SSDI. Therefore, people seeking disability benefits should seek specific legal advice — which this blog post cannot provide.