NO! Many disabled workers confuse the 12 month durational requirement with a 12 month wait to file a disability claim. These two concepts are very different. One of the requirements for qualifying for Social Security disability is called the durational requirement. This means that a disability must last 12 months or longer in order to qualify for Social Security disability. The point is that short term medical problems (that is, medical issues lasting less than 12 months) are not accepted under the program.
The durational requirement does not mean, however, that a disabled worker must wait for 12 months before he or she files for Social Security disability. Nor does it mean that the worker must be off work for 12 months before filing a claim. As long as the worker can prove that his or her disability can be expected to last longer than 12 months at the time of filing for a claim then that is all that is required to satisfy the durational requirement.
If a disabled worker has received a denial, Social Security will note on the last page of the denial whether its examiners have determined that the medical problems are not expected to last longer than 12 months. Often the medical examiners have find that the durational requirement has not been met in situations where an operation has occurred (such as an operation to repair a fracture or a back operation). Sometimes these medical problems continue to cause the worker to be disabled even with the best medical care. If these medical probles are expected to last 12 months or longer then they should satisfy the durational requirement.