SSI Closed Period & Social Security Disability Closed Period
When a disability claimant is disabled under Social Security’s rules, but later improves, there is a possibility that he or she may be eligible for a closed period. The time period must be 12 months or longer and there must be strong evidence of a beginning and ending date for the disability.
One example of this is an individual who may be disabled under Social Security’s rules, but before being approved for ongoing benefits, his condition improves (due to new medication, therapy, etc.). He may even return to work. Even though he was denied ongoing benefits, he can still receive past due benefits for the time period during which he was disabled and was waiting to be approved.
Medical evidence is very important in a closed period situation, as there is no other way for Social Security to know whether the claimant was truly disabled and for how long. Ask for your doctor’s support and make sure that your medical records (and any narratives or letters the doctor is willing to provide outlining your limitations) are sent to Social Security.
If you have a disability attorney, he or she will likely consider the option of a closed period if your condition has improved such that you will not qualify anymore for disability benefits, but did at one time (for at least 12 months). Keep a copy of your medical records to supply to your attorney in case such a situation arises.
Remember that in the case of disability benefits, unfortunately, the five-month waiting period will still apply. For example, if the closed period was 15 months, the individual will actually receive 10 months’ worth of back pay. If it is a Supplemental Security Income case (SSI), the individual will still receive 15 full months of pay.
For more information, speak with your disability representative or Social Security.