Monday, August 5, 2013

Winning a Closed Period SSDI/SSI Case

Last week, a Social Security Disability Judge ruled in my favor in a "closed period case".  A closed period is a term used to describe a Social Security Disability claim involving a claimant who is granted benefits for a fixed period of time.  Asking for a closed period, rather than for ongoing benefits is usually a wise strategy for winning benefits.
It is a good idea to exercise this option when there isn't enough medical evidence to show that the disabling condition will continue for an extended period of time.  Unfortunately, in many instances claimants loose their health insurance and can no longer afford the medical treatment necessary to show an ongoing condition.  In these circumstances, I often encourage my clients to consider asking that their benefits be granted for the specific time period that they were unable to work as a result of their physical or mental condition.  
Many judges seem to look favorably at closed period cases due to the fact that claimants who are willing to go back to work after a long injury or illness are presumed to be honest when testifying about the severity of their symptoms.  Closed period cases are also favored because these claims impose less of a financial burden on the Social Security Trust Fund.
It is important to note that to be eligible to receive benefits for a closed period, a claimant must show that his or her disability lasted a period of 12 consecutive months or more.  As I have indicated in previews blogs, Social Security Disability Benefits are not granted on a short term basis.