Asked in Social Security

Q: My wife broke her arm on May 18 2020. She hasn't worked since and still gets PT. Could she have filed for SSI?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: Social Security is not a short-term or partial disability program. In order to be disabled under Social Security, a person must meet the strict definition of disability which is the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Usually, a broken arm would heal before the 12 month duration requirement and would not be considered to be disabling under Social Security. However, if additional surgery, therapy or other measures are expected to last at least 12 months, then applying for disability would be appropriate. Your wife may want to think about any additional physical or mental impairment(s) she has that have lasted or could be expected to last for the 12 months duration which could be alleged together with the broken arm. For some basics about Social Security disability, see

Also, SSI has income and resource limits that you must meet in addition to being found to be disabled. Countable resources are limited to $3,000 per couple. For general information about SSI see

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