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

Social Security Disability ó when to file

If you have a medical condition that has caused your health to deteriorate to the point that you are unable to work, or to work enough to make a living wage, consider filing a claim for social security disability (SSD) sooner rather than later.

You should not hesitate to file, for one very important reason: The process of applying and being granted social security disability benefits is generally long and drawn out. Most claims are denied upon first application (70 percent), and even upon first appeal (85 percent of first appeals, or requests for reconsideration, are denied as well).

It will take months for your application to be processed, and several more months for your case to work its way through an appeals process. If, like most claims, yours is denied at the first two levels, the next step would be to request a hearing before an administrative law judge, which can take as long as two years to materialize.

In other words, the sooner you file for disability, the better, so begin immediately gathering your medical and work history details and putting them in writing for the claims rep (CR) at the social security office who will be assigned to your case. The more detailed your medical and work history, including all relevant names, dates, locations, and contact information, the less chance there is that your case will be delayed because the CR does not have all the information needed to process your claim.

Even if you do not currently qualify for social security disability benefits because you are earning more than the monthly or yearly maximum amount allowed by social security for those receiving SSD benefits, if you have a medical condition that is affecting your ability to perform your job, and you believe your condition to one that is likely to deteriorate over time, itís a good idea to begin documenting your medical and work history now so that you are ready to begin the process when the time comes.

Itís also a good idea to find the closest social security office near you, so you know where to go to file your claim or who to call for more information.

There are social security disability (not SSI) applications and information available online, but a visit or phone call to your local social security office is almost always more productive and informative.

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?
Applying for permanent disability with liver disease and a spinal fusion

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.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
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