When a Missourian is suffering from an illness or condition and is seeking Social Security disability benefits, it is important to understand more than just the basics about the federal regulations and how to be approved. The duration requirement is one of the key factors in the application process. Understanding how the Social Security Administration assesses a person’s medical conditions and determines if it will last or is expected to last the required 12 months is a critical part of the claim.
The applicant’s medically determinable impairment must last for 12 consecutive months or will be expected to end in the person’s death. The condition at the time might not have been ongoing for those 12 months when the SSA decides the person is disabled. This will be met when there is an expectation of recovery following the 12 month period making the person eligible to get benefits. The impairment must prevent the person from working in substantial gainful activity for 12 consecutive months.
Many people do not have a single illness, but have more than one. The question that is frequently asked in such a circumstance is whether the impairments – two or more if unrelated – can be combined to meet the criteria of 12 months. If neither will last for 12 months, the SSA cannot approve the SSD. If there are two impairments that are assessed in combination and are deemed severe, the SSA must consider whether the effects will continue in that severity for 12 months. Should one improve so the combination will not meet this requirement, the person will not meet the 12 month threshold.
Having an illness, condition or injury that a person believes warrants SSD benefits does not mean they will meet the criteria to get them. The 12 month requirement is an important part of the claim. When deciding whether this requirement is met, it is wise to have legal help to present the case. A law firm with a history of helping those seeking Social Security disability benefits in a variety of circumstances should be called for a consultation.