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It is possible to receive Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits even if you have recovered and returned to work. The SSD process is notoriously slow, and it is not unusual for a claimant to undergo a lengthy disability appeal process that has lasted for years. By the time the case has proceeded to a hearing, the claimant may have recovered from their disabling impairments.
A “closed period” of SSD eligibility could result. A closed period of disability can occur when a claimant was unable to work for 12 months, the durational requirement, but their medical condition improved and enabling them to resume working. Thus, even if you never applied for SSD benefits, if you were out of work for medical reasons more than a year you should consider proceeding with an SSD claim, even though you no longer qualify for benefits. SSD benefits will not be available during the five month waiting period.
It may be easier for a claimant to receive closed period disability benefits than it is to receive open period disability benefits. If an ALJ approves an open period disability, it will be costly, because it is likely the claimant will continue to receive SSD benefits for many years to come. Approving a closed period claim involves less of a financial risk for the SSA.
I just received an on-the-record (“OTR”) decision from an ALJ who rarely grants them. The OTR occurred after I notified the ALJ that the claimant would be seeking a closed period. The ALJ approved either because of the lower financial risk, or because the claim seemed more credible because of the additional evidence of a good work ethic.Previous Next
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