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

When should you apply for Social Security Disability?

This question is routinely addressed by disability attorneys and by columnists. However, the simplest way to answer the question is to state that you should apply for Social Security Disability as soon as your medical condition makes it impossible for you to work, or at least work and earn what is considered to be a substantial and gainful monthly income.

Individuals who are considering whether or not to apply for Social Security Disability will often put off initiating their claim by several months. While this is understandable, it can, given the fact that disability claims filed with the social security administration can take months, even years to result in an award of benefits, be an unwise course of action.

Here is a short of scenarios that may guide when and when not to apply for Social Security Disability.

1. An individual is working full-time: the likelihood is that the gross monthly earned income of an individual who is working full-time will exceed the standard for substantial and gainful income (the actual dollar amount changes each year).

Even if that were not the case, however, the ability to work full time will not serve to substantiate an individual's claim for disability. For these reasons, an individual who is working full time should not choose to apply for Social Security Disability, but, instead, should wait until their physical or mental condition makes continuing working impossible, or make it impossible to work enough (days, hours, weeks, etc) to approach what the social security administration considers a monthly substantial and gainful income.

2. An individual is working part-time and the prospect of working full time does not seem likely due to their mental or physical condition: an individual in this type of scenario should probably make the decision to apply for Social Security Disability. The inability to work at a substantial and gainful income level will substantiate a claim for disability benefits, assuming, of course, that an individual's medical records will corroborate the individual's functional limitations which exist as a result of their medical condition.

What happens if you actually do apply for Social Security Disability while you are working? Then the outcome is one that does not involve a medical evaluation. In other words, social security will deny the claim without reviewing the individual's medical records. In other words, if a person is working and earning a substantial and gainful income, they cannot receive disability benefits no matter how disabling their condition is.

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:

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?

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.