Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Claim Mistakes

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications, Qualifying

Working and Disability

Disability Awards, Notices

Hiring Disability Lawyers

List of Disability Conditions

What SSA finds disabling

SSD SSI Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability

Eligibility for Disability

SSD SSI Definitions

Questions and Answers

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