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12 Month Requirement for SS Disability

April 15, 2015 Blog

If your medical disability has lasted for 12 months, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You might also qualify if your disability is expected to last for 12 months. This 12-month duration is one of the required conditions for qualifying for disability benefits. Find out what you should know about the 12-month requirement.

What to Consider before 12 months have passed:

You do not have to wait until you have been unable to work for a whole year to apply for benefits.  The SSA will presume that your impairment will meet the duration requirement it it is the type of condition that obviously will last a long time, fore example, a serious spinal cord injury.

But if your impairment if likely to improve, and you apply before it has lasted 12 months, your claim could be denied.  For Example, broken bones usually heal within a year, although there are exceptions.  Alternatively, the decision on your claim could be delayed to see if your condition improves.

Disability factors which affect the 12 month requirement:

If your condition comes and goes, you can qualify for benefits.  Your condition does not need to be at the same level of severity for 12 months.  Conditions that come and go like migraines or fibromyalgia can meet duration requirement.  To get benefits, you will need to show that flare ups prevent you from keeping a full time job.

If you have two different back to back impairments, and neither alone lasts for 12 months you cannot add them together to met the 12 month requirement.

If you recover long enough to go back to work so long as your disabling condition lasted for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for disability benefits for a temporary or closed period of time.