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Why even serious injuries may not qualify as a disability

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | SSDI

Many people suffer serious injuries or have a serious illness and certainly feel it disables them. Knowing that there is no way they can work, they apply for benefits but get denied. They’re confused and frustrated, which is understandable. 

There are a few reasons why this may happen, but one of them is simply the length of that disability. Remember that the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disability in very specific ways, and anyone who gets benefits has to meet their criteria perfectly. It is less about how the patient feels and more about if they check all of the right boxes. 

How long do you need to be disabled? 

Under the SSA definition, your injury has to last for at least 12 months in order for you to qualify, or it has to be expected to last that long or expected to result in death. This is a very long time for those who may be out of work. 

For instance, you could suffer a significant back injury, which means you can’t work for 11 months. You simply have to stay home and recover. While you are glad that you’re expected to make a recovery, the problem is that the 11 months will not qualify you for Social Security disability benefits under the SSA definition. This can be problematic because it is clear that missing work for 11 months could ruin your financial position, but it is still not seen as significant enough in some cases. 

You can see how complex the system really is and why there are a lot of misconceptions about it, so be sure that you understand all of the legal options at your disposal to navigate it as smoothly as you can.