Question: Are there temporary disability benefits?
Answer: Yes, but maybe not what you have in mind. To get any Social Security disability benefits, you have to have been or be predicted to be disabled for at least a year. There aren’t many people who remain disabled for a year who then improve enough to go back to work.
The other side of the coin is that there are no permanent disability benefits at Social Security. Going on Social Security disability benefits does not have to be a one way trip. If you get on benefits, there is nothing preventing you from going back to work. In fact, there are many incentives to return to work. You’ll probably keep getting your full disability benefit for a year after returning to work. Even after that, for several years you’ll be able to get right back on disability benefits if you have to stop work again.
This also means that people who are granted Social Security disability benefits are reviewed from time to time to see if they remain disabled. However, normally they cannot be cut off benefits unless they medically improve or return to work for a substantial period of time.