How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.