What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Do You Have To Be Out Of Work For A Long Time Before You Can File For Disability?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
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: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials