Understandably, disabilities vary in severity and duration. Though an injury
or illness may be debilitating and severe, it can be a temporary condition
or it can be
long-term or permanent. For example, a workplace injury can prevent someone from
working, but it may last less than a year.
Someone can get into a car accident; the injuries from the crash can prevent
the accident victim from working at their job, but it’s not serious
enough that it stops the person from performing “modified work”
or something easier and less physically demanding.
Suppose you are injured in a car accident or in a workplace accident. Or,
perhaps your injury occurs elsewhere; for example, you fell off your roof
while putting up Christmas lights or you fell off a cliff while taking
a hike in Arizona. Now you can’t work until your injuries heal.
Can you collect short-term disability benefits?
Social Security is Not for Short-Term Disabilities
As a general rule,
Social Security Disability (SSD) is NOT for short-term disabilities. So, if you had knee surgery
that’s supposed to keep you from working for six months, or if you
broke both of your legs after falling off your roof, or if you were in
a car accident and are expected to recover in four months – all
of these medical conditions would likely be considered “short-term”
by the Social Security Administration. Meaning, they would probably not
meet the SSA’s definition of a disability.
In order to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must meet the
SSA’s definition of a disability:“Social Security pays benefits
to people who can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s
expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law requires
this very strict definition of disability,” according to the
You may have been injured in a car accident, a workplace accident, or another
type of accident and it may prevent you from working for the time being.
However, if the condition is not expected to last at least one year or
result in death, it would not meet the SSA’s definition of a disability.
Need to file a disability claim?
Contact our firm for professional assistance!