Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Filing for SSD Disability - When Should You put in a Claim?

If you are suffering from a severe physical or mental impairment that has significantly reduced your earnings or your ability to earn a living wage, you should probably file for disability immediately.

The Social Security Administration is currently deluged with disability applications, and thus it usually takes several months to receive a decision on a claim. Add to that the fact that the state disability determination services (DDS) agency, which makes decisions on all initial applications as well as reconsideration appeals for Social Security, rejects most claims, and you are probably looking at a considerable wait between the time you actually file for SSD and the time you will see any financial relief in the form of disability benefits (assuming your claim is successful).

Unfortunately for those who are feeling the effects of their impairment and find themselves unable to perform at work, or perhaps even unemployed, time is of the essence.

Here are some things to consider if you find you must file for SSD or SSI.

1. Do not call the national toll-free number for information about filing your claim. The best source of information about processing a disability application is the claims representative at your local Social Security office. There have been many instances reported in which individuals received inaccurate information from the toll-free number--you do not want any delay in processing your claim due to faulty instructions you have received (and complied with in good faith).

2. You have the option of filing your claim for disability online (for SSD not SSI), but again this probably is not the best option. Instead, call your local Social Security office and speak with a claims representative directly, so that you can ask any questions you may have and perhaps even get the name of someone who can be your “go-to” person should any questions arise in the future.

3. Remember that, should you be unable to travel to your local Social Security office due to transportation or health constraints, you can still have person-to-person contact with a claims representative over the phone. The rep will interview you, answer your questions, and then send you your paperwork by post to sign and return to the office.

4. Most importantly, keep in mind that if you are currently working full or part-time and earning the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount, you will not qualify for disability, regardless of the nature or severity of your impairment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets the SGA amount annually, and if you earn at least this much each month your claim will result in a technical denial.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Social Security Disability Appeal Attorney Fees
    Can you get disability the first time you apply?
    Should I get a lawyer for my disability hearing for SSD or SSI?
    Filing for disability tips
    Filing for disability, the application
    Filing for disability, the process
    Filing for disability, how long for a decision?
    Social Security Attorneys and Disability Representatives
    How to file a disability appeal in New Jersey
    If you apply for disability in in New Jersey

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

    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