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The Law Offices of Martin Taller
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What is a 'closed period of disability' for SSDI purposes?

This blog has previously discussed some of the basics of applying to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. This program is intended to help those California workers who have previously paid into the Social Security fund through their FICA tax withholdings and are now unable to work for a long period of time. The idea is that people unable to work due to a disability will get some portion of their wages for the time they are disabled to help make ends meet. We've also touched on the fact that these applications can take some time to be adjudicated. So, what happens if the disability ends before the application is decided upon?

For the purposes of SSDI, benefits can be awarded retroactively in some circumstances. This means that it is possible for people who have a 'closed period of disability' to receive their benefits even if they are no longer disabled at the time the application is adjudicated. There are however, some strict requirements to be met in these cases.

To be awarded benefits for a closed period of disability, the applicant must have generally filed a claim within 14 months of the end of the disability. There are a few exception to this rule, which we may touch on in another post. The individual applying for benefits must also meet the definition of disabled for the time period involved and must have been disabled for at least 12 months. Further, the evidence must show the beginning of the period that the person was unable to engage in substantial gainful activity due to the disability as well as the date the applicant was no longer disabled.

Because of the nature of the application process for SSDI benefits, it is certainly possible for a California disability applicant to have met the requirements for benefits and then experience a recovery that allows him or her to return to work before benefits are awarded. Even individuals who didn't file at the time of their disability may be able to receive some benefits for their time away from work if they file the application within 14 months of the cessation of the disability.

However, these claims, like many SSD claims, are initially denied for a variety of reasons. With that in mind, Californians who are considering seeking SSD benefits may want to speak with a legal professional who can assist them with developing the strongest claim possible under the circumstances.

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The Law Offices Of Martin Taller

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