You suffered serious injuries, perhaps in a car accident or in some other fashion. You end up with brain injuries and a spinal cord injury, and there’s absolutely no way that you can work while you heal.
The good news is that doctors think that you will make a full recovery eventually. They just say that it’ll probably take six months before you’ll be able to start working again.
While you’re glad that it’s not worse, six months is still a long time. So you start wondering if you’re going to be able to apply for benefits through the SSDI system. Could you qualify?
The injury has to last for an entire year
Unfortunately, someone who is injured for only six months is not going to qualify under the guidelines set out by the Social Security Administration, or the SSA. You may have other options, but it would be difficult to get these benefits unless something changes with your diagnosis.
The problem is simply that the SSA defines a disability as something that lasts for a minimum of a year. If you don’t make that 12-month threshold, then you’re not going to be able to collect benefits. The only exception to this is if the injury is expected to be terminal eventually. Since neither thing applies in your case, then you may not qualify.
What can you do?
One thing to consider is simply that your initial diagnosis may have been wrong. It could be wise to look into getting a second opinion. If you find out that a medical professional actually believes that your injury is going to last far longer than was initially stated, that may help you apply for disability benefits. It can also help you to plan for the realistic recovery time if that first medical team got it wrong.
One of the best things you can do is to get this type of medical evidence and documentation to back up your claims. This can help you show exactly how long the condition will last and that will help you to understand precisely what options you have.
If you do believe that you should qualify for benefits and you’re looking into applying or appealing a denial that you’ve already been given, then it’s very important to carefully think through the legal steps you’ll need to take.