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Our Palmdale Social Security Attorney Discusses Closed Periods

Posted on :April 16, 2015Byjpadmin

Palmdale Social Security AttorneyCan a Palmdale Social Security attorney help you get closed period benefits? If you had a temporary disability that has improved substantially, our Palmdale Social Security attorney may recommend that you file for closed period benefits. This is a viable option for receiving retroactive payment for a fixed amount of time even if you are ineligible for ongoing benefits. Closed period benefits are available to qualified Social Security disability (SSD) and supplemental security income (SSI) applicants.


  • You must have been disabled for at least 12 continuous months before you can qualify for closed period Social Security benefits.
  • Disability is defined as an inability to engage in a substantial gainful activity (SGA) for a year or more.
  • Earnings from an SGA are determined by the average income for working Americans. Currently, your monthly gross income must not exceed $1,130. This amount is periodically adjusted based on average wages and cost of living increases.
  • A closed period exists when your disability improves or you resume work before your claim is decided. However, you must begin an SSD or SSI application within 14 months of your improvement. This represents a two-month grace period and 12-month retroactive application deadline.
  • If you are unable to submit an application before the deadline, you may qualify for an extension if you can prove that the delay was due to a physical or mental impairment. This special accommodation expires 36 months after your disability ended or you resumed work.

Social Security Regulations

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), delays between the time that your disability ended and the time that you submit an application will reduce the amount of retroactive benefits that you can receive. In this case, you will be eligible for a maximum of 12 months of retroactive SSD benefits even if your disability lasted longer than a year. While the Social Security Administration does not offer short-term disability coverage, closed period benefits are a way for people to receive income when they do not have a lifelong or life-threatening condition. Open period benefits are available for people who have medical conditions and impairments that are expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

Closed Period Freeze

If you are unable to work and contribute Social Security withholdings, this will reduce your future retirement and disability benefits. Fortunately, periods of low earnings can be overlooked with a disability freeze. To qualify, you must have acquired Social Security Disability Insurance through your work history. You must have submitted an SSD application while you were disabled or within 12 months of your disability ending. If you can prove that you were unable to submit the application due to an impairment, the extended 36-month deadline will apply. Furthermore, you must be considered disabled or legally blind as described by the SSA.

Qualifying for Closed Period Benefits

Some experts believe that closed period benefits are easier to qualify for than open period benefits. However, both involve lengthy applications and appeals. Usually, closed period benefits are only awarded by administrative law judges (ALJs) during the second level of appeals. Occasionally, ALJs will deny applications for open benefits and award closed period benefits instead. Don’t give up if your application has been denied. Our Palmdale Social Security attorney can argue your case and present medical records and evidence to the judge during an appeal.

Contact a Palmdale Social Security Attorney

If you aren’t sure where to begin, an attorney can advise you on options for requesting open or closed SSD or SSI benefits. Call 800-954-7752 to request a free consultation with a Palmdale Social Security attorney at Lowenstein Disability Lawyers, A Law Corporation.

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  • We help Southern California Social Security disability claimants at all stages. If you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits, have had your application denied, or have had your Request for Reconsideration denied, please answer the questions below if you would like us to review your case.

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