To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your impairment must have lasted for at least 12 continuous months, or be expected to last that long. There is still some gray area here, as impairments that accelerate and decline over time, or that have brief remission periods, usually still meet the requirement, as your Charlottedisability attorney can explain. The main criterion is that the impairment be severe enough to preclude you from partaking in any substantial gainful activity. One thing you cannot do under the regulations is combine several unrelated impairments in order to meet the duration requirement.
When claims are denied based on the duration requirement, it’s usually because at the time of the decision, the impairment has not lasted for 12 months and is likely to improve within 12 months (thus not meeting the duration requirement). If your impairment may or may not get better before 12 months have passed, sometimes your case might be delayed by the state agency decision-maker, to see if your impairment continues to impact you. Because the SSA bureaucracy works so slowly, 12 months will usually have passed anyway by the time you get to the third level of appeals, the hearing level.
Once your disability has lasted for 12 months, you or your Charlotte disability attorney can ask for finding of a closed period of disability, even if your condition has improved and you are now able to work.