What are Closed Benefits/Closed Periods?

A closed period of disability is determined when medical evidence establishes you were unable to engage in substantial gainful work activity for a continuous period of 12 months, but by the time the disability decision is made, you have medically recovered. There are certain requirements to be entitled to a closed period of disability:

  1. You must have filed the application within 14 months after the disability ended; or
  2. You must have filed an application between 15 and 36 months after the disability ended and you must show that your failure or inability to file a timely application was due to your physical or mental incapacity. You may be entitled to a period of disability but not to monthly disability benefit payments. A closed period of disability helps protect your insured status and increases potential future retirement or disability benefits.

A closed period of disability is most commonly used in cases where a traumatic event is the cause of the medical condition. For example, if you are in an accident and you are severely injured or if you are receiving cancer treatments, it may take you as long as a year before you are recovered well enough to return to work. In situations like this, you may receive your Social Security benefits just for the period of time in which you were unable to work. A closed period must be at least 12 months in duration, but may be longer.

The typical situations that our Montgomery Social Security lawyers see is when a person is very ill due to a form of cancer. Sadly, this is what happens in 8 out 10 closed period cases. For example, the person is diagnosed and has surgery, and then the individual may spend a year or more receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy. With prayer and luck, hopefully the physician will rid the person of the cancer. However, it may take much longer than a year for a person to be able to regain fulltime employment. During this time and individual will hopefully qualify for Social Security disability benefits for the period of time that he or she is out of work. What we suggest is that anyone who finds that he or she is in the dire medical situation to immediately file for social security. Hopefully, our attorneys can win a case for a compassionate allowance and be able to convince Social Security to quickly start a person’s benefits. Our Montgomery Social Security lawyers believe it is imperative that we start the process immediately! Even if you are able to return to work after the 12 month period, but before Social Security has an appeal hearing on your case, do not give up! Many times we have found it easier to win a closed period case. Also, if you do not follow through with the hearing, you may be forfeiting thousands of dollars in Social Security benefits of which you are entitled! Many judges and employees find it very strong and convincing evidence that you were actually disabled when you suffered and illness or injury, but then return to work at a later date. They believe these individuals to be very honest and credible in their testimony at a hearing!

If you are injured and your doctor has removed you from work or you are unable to return to work, it is important for you to speak with a Montgomery Social Security lawyer to see if you should apply for benefits. All consultations are always free! Many people do not know about the closed period option and do not seek benefits for that period of time. Call us today at Call 334-LAWYERS (334-529-9377) and set an appointment to come speak with our team. For many years, people would ask us, “Why don’t you have an office near me?” We answered the “near me” question by creating offices in Montgomery, Selma, Greenville, and Troy. You may also contact us by using the “text us” link or Contact Form on our website. Finally, you may email us at bsellers@sellerslawfirm.com . Remember that doing nothing changes nothing so act today!

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The Sellers Law Firm represented me in my social security case, and later in my Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I have been very happy with all that you have done for me, and I refer people to you all the time. Thanks for all that you have done for me and my family.
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I would like to start out by saying Brandon sellers is more than a lawyer that has helped my family out in numerous occasions but he's also a great friend to our family. Whenever he can't find a resolution for the problem he always recommends somebody that can. I've known him for years grew up together always been really good friends. I like to say in closing I'm really glad I know him I'm glad he's been able to help us when we've needed him. Thanks for everything you've done. Timothy Palmer
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