While you can’t get disability benefits temporarily, you may have options to get them on a short-term basis.
If you have a disability that prevents you from being able to work, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) offers benefits to individuals with disabilities (and some members of their families) who have worked for a certain period of time and paid Social Security taxes.
SSDI is designed to provide benefits to individuals who medical condition is either permanent or long-term. Under SSA rules, to qualify for SSDI benefits, your disability must either be expected to last 12 months or longer or to result in death. However, there are some options for individuals to receive benefits for a shorter period of time if they are able to return to work after becoming disabled.
As a general rule, you cannot receive temporary SSDI benefits. This is because a temporary, or short-term, condition does not qualify as a disability under SSA regulations, which require meeting three elements:
- You cannot do your past work;
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition; AND
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or will result in death.
Even if you cannot work due to your disability, if it is expected to less for under a year, then you will not qualify for SSDI benefits. For example, if you have been diagnosed with cancer and are unable to work due to the disabling effects of treatment, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits if your condition is anticipated to improve in less than 12 months.
However, if your disability will last for 12 months or longer, you may be able to receive benefits for a reduced period of time if you think that you might be able to return to work. According to a California disability benefits lawyer, you can take advantage of the SSA’s trial work period to effectively receive temporary benefits if you can successfully return to work. By going back to work through the trial work period, you won’t put your benefits at risk if you do not succeed.
In most cases, if you earn more than a certain amount ($1220 for non-blind individuals in 2019) in a given month, then you risk losing your SSDI benefits. But if you attempt to go back to the work force through the trial work period, you can work for 9 months in a 60 month period. If you don’t think that you can work because of your disability during this time, you can stop and continue receiving your benefits. Importantly, if you earn over the income limit in a 10 month period of time, your benefits may be suspended.
If you do plan to try going back to work within 12 months of being approved for disability and tell the SSA about this plan, you are less likely to be approved for benefits. It may indicate that your disability is not as serious as your paperwork suggests, which is not the impression that you want to convey to the SSA. Consult with a California disability benefits lawyer if you are considering applying for SSDI benefits and may want to try a trial work period in the future.
At PLBSH, we have substantial experience helping people with disabilities apply for and obtain disability benefits. We are strong advocates for each of our clients, working diligently to help them get the benefits that they need. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a California disability benefits lawyer, contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.