Those who are familiar with the Social Security disability system know that the claims adjudication process can be quite lengthy. Some individuals find themselves waiting for months, or even a year or more, just to have their initial claim heard. Then, if that initial claim is denied, these individuals may need to wait longer to obtain a decision on their appeal. As the Social Security disability system seeks to provide compensation to disabled individuals while they are unable to work, some Floridians may find themselves wondering what happens if, while they are awaiting a claim adjudication, their disability improves and they are able to return to work.
This is a common issue that the Social Security Administration recognizes. As a result, the SSA has implemented what is known as a closed period of disability. This period of disability is considered closed because its start and end dates are already established at the time the disability claim is adjudicated. This means that, provided there is enough evidence supporting the granting of SSD benefits, an individual may be able to recover compensation even if his or her claim is not heard until after the disability has improved.
Certain requirements must be met before benefits can be paid out for a closed disability period, though. First, the disability must not have ended more than 14 months prior to the filing date. Second, the claimant must present competent evidence showing the disability’s start and end date, as well as evidence that the disability lasted at least 12 months.
There are a lot of hurdles that must be cleared when seeking SSD benefits. Failing to adequately address these issues could lead to a longer wait or an outright denial of one’s claim. With that in mind, those who considering seeking benefits or appealing a claim denial, may want to consider whether acquiring legal assistance will support their best interests.
Source: Social Security Administration, “DI 25510.001 Closed Period of Disability,” accessed on Feb. 24, 2017