How long does a disability have to last to qualify for SSDI?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2022 | Social Security Disability

If you’re thinking about applying for SSDI benefits, you know that your disability has to be defined as such by the government. The definition that they use is quite strict. It even includes the timeframe for which your disability has to last.

What you’ll find is that an injury or other medical ailment does not count as a disability, at least to the U.S. government, unless it is going to be terminal or last for at least 12 months. If it is expected to last less time than that, even though you may not be able to work, it still does not qualify under this definition.

How do you know how long your condition will last?

The best thing you can do, in many ways, is to talk to your medical care team. They’re the ones who can tell you how long they expect the injury to last or how long you should plan to be out of work. Many people understand that it’s going to take time to heal, especially with severe spinal cord injuries or head injuries, but they don’t really know the exact timeframe. Your doctor can tell you, and that can help you know if you’ll qualify or not. 

The next thing you want to do when you talk to your doctor is to get medical records backing up how long your disability is going to last. The Social Security Administration is not simply going to take your word for it. But if you can provide documented proof that a qualified medical professional believes it’s going to last for more than a year, that significantly helps your situation.

This process can be complicated and it’s certainly important to get the benefits you deserve, so be sure you know what legal steps to take to secure your future.