Permanent disability (PD) is any lasting disability from your work injury or illness that affects your ability to earn a living. If your injury or illness results in PD you are entitled to PD benefits, even if you are able to go back to work. The Social Security Administration does not pay temporary disability benefits.
Unlike workers’ compensation, which is governed by state laws and may award benefits for partial or temporary disability depending upon the state, social security disability programs are run by the federal government and a person can file for it from any location in the United States. You will be awarded SSD or SSI benefits only if you can demonstrate a severe, ongoing physical or mental impairment, that is not likely to improve, under any circumstances, within the next year.
Social security does not define totally disabled as unable to perform any work. You can work when you apply for disability and you can work after you are awarded disability. However, you just can’t make more than the SGA amount (this amount is updated annually to reflect inflation and cost of living increases).
You do not have to be permanently disabled to collect social security disability (SSD) or SSI income. In fact, the social security administration anticipates that at any given point a claimant’s condition may substantially improve, and requires those awarded disability benefits to participate in the process of continuing disability review, or CDR. The sole purpose of the CDR process is to determine if there has been any improvement in the claimant’s medical or financial circumstances. SSA considers an individual totally disabled only if a person is unable to earn more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount for a given year.
Approved claims are subject to “diary review dates” after one, three, and seven years, depending on the condition for which disability was awarded and the probability for improvement. What is normally needed to avoid interruption of disability benefits is medical documentation that the claimant still suffers from the impairment for which disability was originally awarded, and that there has been no improvement.
Disability claimants must be able to document through their medical records that their condition is severe enough to prevent them from returning to their job, or from performing any other job for which they may be suited, for at least one year.
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