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Home » Glossary » Closed Period

Definition of Closed Period

If a claimant applies for disability then returns to work they will not be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on an ongoing basis, but they may be eligible to receive benefits for the period of time when they were unable to work. This period of time is called the closed period, and it is the time between the onset date of disability (the date the claimant's medical records prove they became disabled) and the point in time when the claimant began performing substantial gainful activity again. If the closed period is less than 12 continuous months the claimant will not qualify for benefits. Additionally, the claimant must apply for disability benefits within 14 months from the date the disability ended.

Close period benefits are generally awarded by a judge after they hear the disability case at the hearing and decide that the claimant was disabled for a specific period of time but their condition has now improved. The claimant may or may not currently be working. If the judge determines they were disabled for 12 continuous months but are not disabled anymore, they may receive benefits for a closed period.

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