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How long does a condition need to last to qualify for disability benefits?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2023 | Social Security Disability

If you suffer any type of significant injury, you may be dealing with a disability. For example, maybe you work in a profession where mobility is very important, and you have a broken leg. This condition can keep you out of work for weeks or months, until it heals and you can return to your position.

Unfortunately, although a typical broken leg is a disability of sorts, it is not a disability that qualifies for SSDI benefits, even if you miss time at work, because the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a very strict definition of disability. Part of this definition involves how long a medical condition has to last in order for an applicant to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Even a condition that creates a disability may not qualify for benefits if it will only last for a short period of time.

3 primary qualifications

There are three different ways in which someone can qualify for SSDI benefits through the SSA. When considering someone’s disability, the SSA will want to see that it either:

  1. Has already lasted for at least one year;
  2. Is expected to last for an entire year, at minimum; or
  3. Is expected to last until death

When the condition is going to last for at least a year, it will significantly change someone’s life. They may never work again, and they are not going to recover quickly even in the best-case scenario. That is when they can begin the process of seeking compensation through the SSA.

Applying for SSDI benefits can be complicated and it’s important not to make any mistakes. Be sure you know what options you have and how to get the process underway by seeking legal guidance.