Topic Categories:

Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits

Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

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Do You Have To Be Out Of Work For A Long Time Before You Can File For Disability?

Many people who need to file for Social Security disability waste time waiting the months they think they have to wait before filing for disability. In many instances, this may be due to a fair amount of misunderstanding and misinformation about the SSDI and SSI programs.

For example, many applicants think they have to wait a full twelve months to file for Social Security disability. The Social Security definition of disability does include the mention of twelve months but does not say an individual must wait for twelve months prior to filing for disability.

The definition of disability for Social Security purposes is this: an individual has a condition that has prevented them from working and earning a substantial and gainful income for twelve months. The definition goes on to say that the condition can simply be expected to last twelve months (in addition to potentially resulting in death).

Considering the Social Security definition of disability, an individual should consider filing for disability when they become unable to work due to their medical condition. The disability process can be a lengthy one, especially if an individual does not win disability benefits at the initial disability claim level (an average of thirty-five percent of initial disability claims result in an approval).

It goes without saying that if an individual has a terminal condition that that has rendered them unable to work, they should file for disability immediately. Social Security expedites disability claims that involve a terminal condition, so the applicant is able to receive disability benefits as soon as possible.

There is no maximum wait time to file for Social Security disability benefits, in terms of having been out of work. Since the disability process takes considerable time, it is better to file for disability sooner than later.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria