If you were disabled for a period of time and you were able to work before your Social Security Disability benefits were approved, you may apply for a closed period of disability benefits.
A closed period, in terms of Social Security Disability benefits, is the time between the onset of your disability and the time when you were able to return to work. If this period exceeds twelve months, you may qualify for SSDI and/or SSI back pay, even though you returned to work. You should consider proceeding with your Social Security Disability claim, even though you no longer qualify for ongoing Social Security Disability benefits.
Generally, those filing for SSDI are eligible to receive Social Security Disability back pay if they demonstrate that they met the criteria for disability for a twelve-month period. SSI claims are not subject to the SSDI waiting period, and are generally eligible for back pay for the entirety of the closed period of disability.
Often, a closed period disability claim is actually easier to win than an open period claim (in which you are still disabled and unable to work). Often, Administrative Law Judges reason that your period of disability is reasonably proven by the fact that you were out of work due to disability for a closed period of time, and have returned. The fact that you are working again is often considered compelling evidence that you are not merely trying to game the system.
Of course, as with all dealings with the Social Security Disability process, your best chance of having a closed period claim approved lies in having qualified representation by a Social Security Disability lawyer who is familiar with closed period disability cases.