Understanding the Duration Requirement of Social Security Disability

Personal filling out social security disability claim form

To receive either Supplementary Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), an applicant must meet the duration requirement of a physical or mental impairment preventing him or her from performing substantial gainful activity (SGA) that will either result in death, have lasted at least 12 months, or can be expected to last at least 12 months.
Failure to meet this requirement will result in a rejected application, so the applicant must be prepared to defend his or her claim if need be.

SGA must meet three conditions to be considered SGA. First, it must be substantial in that it involves significant physical or mental activities. Second, it must be gainful in that it is either paid-for or would be paid-for under normal circumstances. For example, housework is not considered gainful but some forms of volunteering can be. Third, its value must exceed the monthly maximum ceiling. This figure is $1,950 for people with blindness and $1,170 for people with a non-blindness impairment in 2017, but since it is updated on an annual basis, the applicant should double-check that he or she is using the right one. Meeting these three conditions disqualifies the applicant from receiving either SSI or SSDI because it casts doubt on whether their impairment is as bad as it is claimed to be.

The duration of an impairment is a subjective determination that doctors can disagree on. As a result, even if an applicant has a diagnosis that meets the duration requirement, it can be challenged at the hearing. To increase their chances of receiving either SSI or SSDI, he or she should be prepared to defend the diagnosis with the assistance of a social security lawyer.

There are some common mistakes based on bad assumptions that the applicant should watch out for. For example, someone with two consecutive impairments that last a combined total of at least 12 months would not qualify because the condition must be satisfied by a single impairment. However, if someone receives a second impairment before the first impairment heals when he or she already on social security disability, said individual can continue receiving benefits for its duration even if it is not expected to last at least 12 months because

Summed up, the duration requirement has its complexities, meaning that applicants should seek legal counsel to prevent avoidable problems.