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Choosing the Right Time to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Apply for Disability at the Right Time

If you’ve recently visited your doctor to discover that you have a medical condition that affects your ability to work, then it makes sense to think about filling out an application for Social Security Disability benefits.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Disability application process is extremely unforgiving and even intimidating to those navigating for the first time.  Common questions include: Is there a time window that I should aim for when applying with my disability? If so, when is it?

You might be surprised to find out that the answer to the previous questions is actually really simple. It’s recommended that you submit an application for Social Security disability benefits as soon as you’re unable to work or maintain your occupation due to your disabling condition.

The Social Security Administration defines “gainful employment” as earning at least $1,040 each month. If you’re earning less than this number, you could potentially be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.

What about Proving Your Claim?

Speak with your physician regarding your plan to submit an application for Social Security Disability benefits. Your doctor could help you determine which medical records you need to begin completing your application. If you discover that you’ll need more documentation, you may still start the application process and possibly reduce the waiting duration as the Social Security disability application process is infamously known to be incredibly lengthy.

Why File So Quickly?

You want to begin your Social Security disability application as soon as possible because the wait time can take as long as 2 years to finally be finished with the process. Be aware that the majority of applications are denied by the Social Security Administration during the 1st round, and even more aren’t approved by the 2nd review. The earlier you file your application, the faster you’ll get a decision to which you can continue to the next step of the SSD application process.

What if Your Disability is not Permanent?

If your medical condition isn’t expected to permanently disable you, but still prevented you from working for at least one year, it is still recommended you file a Social Security disability application. If you’re unsure about the duration of your disability, or if you expect to return to work, you should still begin completing an application to receive benefits.

If your medical condition happens to improve and no longer prevents you from working, you claim can simply be dismissed. But if your condition does not improve and still prevents you from working, you will require financial assistance. If you don’t submit your application as early as possible, you could face financial struggles quickly while still waiting for the SSA to make a decision on your disability claim.