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How long does a disability need to last to qualify for SSD? 

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2023 | Social Security Disability (SSD)

The Social Security Administration has to determine if you actually have a disability before giving out benefits. Even though a condition may feel like a disability or may create a short-term disability for someone, that does not necessarily mean that it meets the definition provided by the SSA. As such, that person would not qualify for benefits through this program.

As a general rule, the SSA is looking at disabilities that last for at least a year. They will first ask you if the disability has already existed for a year, meaning you may qualify even at the time that you apply. If it has not, then they may need to see if it is predicted to last for a year into the future. Additionally, you may qualify if the disability is so serious that is expected to last for the rest of your life.

How do they determine how long a disability will last?

Things like this can be complicated. Maybe you just suffered a significant injury. You’re getting medical treatment and certainly hoping to recover. But you don’t know if you will. How does the SSA, a government institution, determine that you actually are going to qualify for benefits?

This is when medical evidence can be very beneficial. The medical team that is providing your treatment may be able to predict how long they think it will last, what level of recovery is possible and how it is going to change your life. Providing documentation of this evidence can go a long way toward strengthening your application for SSD benefits and things of this nature. It is one thing to claim that you have a disability that you do not think will heal, and it is quite another to show that a medical professional backs up this opinion.

What if your SSD application is rejected?

Many applications are rejected at first. That does not necessarily mean that you do not have a case and cannot get benefits. You always want to be sure you look into the legal options at your disposal.