Can I Receive Social Security Benefits for My Short Term Disability?

Disabilities impact every facet of one’s life, from your ability to interact with others to your capability to complete your job. Those who are disabled need support to live their daily lives and continue to thrive when they cannot provide for themselves. Luckily, there are systems in place that allow us to assist those who need it most.

Though the system is built for those who will have a long lasting disability, you may only be experiencing a temporary disability. For those who only have a short term disability, you may be unsure what to do. Is your disability eligible? What do you need to do to apply? Find out what to expect if you have a short term disability.  

Are short term disabilities eligible for Social Security benefits?

In order to determine if short term disability is eligible, let’s first define the term “disability” as it is understood by the Social Security Administration:

  • You cannot accomplish any tasks needed by a job, whether a previous job or a future job
  • Your condition is listed in the Blue Book (or a case can be made for the state of your condition)
  • Your disability must last for a minimum for a year OR result in death

All of these criteria must be met for a condition to be eligible for benefits. Since most short term disabilities last for under a year, they do not fit into these criteria and cannot receive benefits. You may be able to get around this if your disability lasts slightly longer than a year, but note that this is the bare minimum. Short term disabilities may be eligible if they are incurable or ultimately end in death through a program called compassionate allowance. Compassionate allowance is intended to provide Social Security benefits to those who are diagnosed with a severe condition (as listed by the SSA) and often expedites the process so there isn’t as long of a wait as usual.

Some of the conditions eligible for compassionate allowance include:

  • Acute leukemia
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Bilateral retinoblastoma
  • Aplastic anemia

What do I need to qualify?

If you believe that you are eligible to apply, your first step will be discussing your specific disability with your doctor. Note that your doctor saying that you are disabled is not enough to qualify for disability. You will need a comprehensive list of all of your doctors you have had,a long with any medical records and test results. Once you’ve collected all of your relevant information, you can make an appointment with your local Social Security office and begin to go through the process of applying for disability benefits.

As you apply, it’s possible that your case may be denied or you may be unable to obtain a full list of your medical records. This is why it may be a good choice for you to get a Social Security disability lawyer to help you with your case. A lawyer can help you to ensure your application is properly completed, obtain your medical records and assist with filing any appeals that may be necessary.

Do you need advice on applying for Social Security disability benefits?

Contact Reynolds & Gold. Our legal team can help you to navigate the process of applying for benefits.

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