Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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

Related pages:

Does social security contact your former work employers when you file for disability?
Can You File For Disability While Receiving Unemployment?
When should you File for Disability benefits with the social security administration?
Do You Have To Be Out Of Work For A Long Time Before You Can File For Disability?
Filing for Disability Online or over the phone
Who Do I Contact To File For Disability Benefits from the Social Security Administration?
How long does it take to hear an answer after filing for disability?
You can file for disability for a mental disorder or problem if it interferes with SGA
If You File For Social Security Disability How Far Back Will They Look At Your Medical Records?
What if you Move out of State after you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?
When should you apply for Social Security Disability?
What Happens When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application?

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.

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