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Do I have to be permanently disabled to collect benefits?

When people discuss disability benefits, they often focus on benefits for people who are permanently or indefinitely disabled. It is true that many recipients of Social Security disability benefits are often suffering from physical or mental conditions that cannot be completely cured or fixed.

However, we want readers to understand that an illness or injury does not need to be permanent for a person to qualify for benefits. There are options for closed period benefits and it can be crucial for people to understand what this means and what requirements are needed to qualify.

The Social Security Administration notes that a closed period of disability can be established when a person's condition prevents him or her from working for at least one year but ultimately, a person can and does return to work before filing an application for benefits.

This means that benefits can be awarded for a specific period of time whereas other recipients of disability benefits will typically collect regular payments indefinitely. The SSA dictates that closed period disability payments will only be paid for a maximum of 12 months before the person filed his or her application for benefits. So while recipients may not receive benefits for the entire span of time they were out of work, they can still receive cash benefits.

There are strict requirements regarding when a person must file an application and how many months of disability benefits can be paid retroactively, so it will be important for people considering closed period disability to discuss their case with an attorney.

Financial support through SSDI and other programs can be crucial for people who suffer from a disabling injury or illness and cannot work. Too often, people make the mistake of thinking that their condition must be permanent to pursue benefits. Without fully understanding the options for disability benefits, people could be missing out on much-needed support.

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