To qualify for Social Security Disability — including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — you must suffer a total impairment that lasts for a year or more, is permanent in nature, or will likely lead to your death.
Because of these strict criteria, you cannot get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits. In fact, there is no such thing as temporary SSDI or SSI. However, there are some situations where you may qualify for benefits even if your condition is likely to improve.
You Could Get Disability Even If Your Prognosis Is Good
You have to meet strict criteria to get Pittsburgh disability benefits. These include:
- Proving you suffer from a disability so severe it keeps you from working;
- Suffering this impairment for at least a year; or
- Being expected to suffer this impairment for at least a year; or
- The impairment likely leading to your death
There are generally two ways to prove you suffer from a qualifying impairment. This includes:
- Meeting a qualifying impairment as listed in the Blue Book; or
- Proving you are disabled based on your residual functional capacity
Based on these qualifications, it may be possible to provide the medical evidence to show you suffer from a total disability that has lasted or will last for a year or more even if your doctor gives you an optimistic prognosis. For example, imagine you have cancer and are undergoing treatments. Your illness and treatments may sideline you for a year or more, even though the treatments work and your health improves.
Understanding Continuing Disability Reviews
If your prognosis is good, you can expect to only receive disability until your condition improves. This is because of the process of continuing disability reviews. Depending on the nature and severity of your impairment, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your qualifications with varying frequency. In general:
- SSA will review your qualifications between six and 18 months after your award if your medical records show improvement is expected
- SSA will review your case about every three years if improvement is possible
- SSA will review your case about every seven years if they do not expect you to improve
For example, you may qualify for disability if you are going to have an organ transplant or recently underwent a transplant. If you meet the criteria listed in the Blue Book, you may get approved for SSDI. As a part of this listing, the Social Security Administration will review your case one year later. If your condition or its residuals still prevent you from working, you may continue to get disability.
Of course, if your condition did improve, the SSA will likely stop your disability benefits since you no longer meet the qualifications. In this way, it may seem like you are receiving “temporary” disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration does not use this terminology.
Let Berger and Green Help You Fight for Social Security Disability
Getting benefits based on a condition that is likely to improve may be more difficult, depending on your individual circumstances. The disability examiner handling your case will need to see proof in your medical evidence that you meet an impairment listing in the Blue Book and/or that you cannot work because of your condition. They will also need to see proof that your disability has lasted a year or will likely last a year.
The team of Social Security disability attorneys from Berger and Green can ensure the SSA has the information it needs about your medical providers. We can double-check your application to ensure it includes the correct information and we can help you file your claim. Call our Pittsburgh office today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
We Will Answer Your Questions about Your Disability Review
If you already receive disability based on a condition that is likely to improve, we can help you prepare for your review. When you receive a letter about a full medical review, give us a call. We can ensure you have the contact information the SSA needs, including:
- Your doctors’ names
- Their addresses and phone numbers
- Your patient ID numbers
- Other information necessary to gain access to your medical records and other evidence
We can also answer any general questions or concerns you may have or fight a cancellation of your benefits following a review. Reach out to us today to learn more.
Talk to a Pittsburgh Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney
If you suffer from a temporary impairment, you could still meet the criteria to get disability benefits. In Pittsburgh, let the team from Berger and Green evaluate your case and help you file for disability.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 for your free case review.