To recover benefits, your disability must have lasted or be expected to last for 12 continuous months. The 12-month period could be met even if your impairment comes and goes with limited periods of improvement but longer periods of impairment that prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity on a sustained basis. However, the SSA regulations specifically prohibit stringing together unrelated impairments to meet the duration requirement. Detroit disability attorney Marc J. Shefman can give you the advice you need about your particular disability.
The SSA may deny your benefits based on the duration requirement if 12 months has not yet passed at the time of the decision and the impairment is a type that is probably going to improve within 12 months. For those types of impairments where it’s unclear whether they will improve before the 12-month duration requirement is met, sometimes a SSA decision-maker will delay a decision to see if the impairment persists. Because the SSA administrative procedure is often slow, the 12 months have usually passed by the time you actually attend a hearing, thus allowing the judge to make an accurate determination.
If you meet the 12-month duration requirement, and then your condition improves to the point that you can return to work, you may ask for a determination of a closed period of disability so that you can receive benefits for that 12-month period.
For advice about your particular situation, contact Detroit disability attorney Marc J. Shefman.