One of the more common questions we receive at the law offices of Jones Brown regarding Social Security Disability claims is “Are there temporary or partial disabilities?”. The answer to the first half of this question is yes, temporary disabilities do exist and they are called closed period of disability. To determine the validity of a disability claim, the Social Security Act anticipates (for a valid claim) that a person is unable to work due to a severe impairment or several severe impairments and that inability to work has lasted for or is anticipated to last at least one year. The criteria for determining the individual’s disability in that period of time is the same criteria used to determine if an individual has a permanent disability.
The timeline of the closed period begins with the date the individual becomes unable to work to the date they return to work. An additional criteria for this type of claim is an individual must file the application within 14 months after the disability ends. Claimants are often more likely to receive benefits from a closed period claim than an open period claim. Open period claims are often more costly to the Social Security Administration because the benefit would continue as long as the disability persists. It is viewed as less of a financial risk for the administration to approve a closed period claim.
Regarding the second half of the question, “Are there partial disabilities?”, the answer is no. Social Security disability will grant disability only if an individual is unable to do their past work or any other less demanding work. For example, if the individual was a construction worker doing heavy labor before, then they would have to prove that they could not accomplish sedentary work due to injury. To qualify for disability an individual must be totally unable to work. Do you think you may qualify for disability benefits? Take our quick evaluation here.
Other common questions regarding Social Security disability claims you can ask an attorney are:
- Who determines if I have a disability?
- How do I apply for benefits?
- Can I still receive benefits even if I work part-time?