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

Social Security Disability — 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, as far as when 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, it’s 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.

It’s 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.

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?
Applying for permanent disability with liver disease and a spinal fusion
If you apply for disability in Florida
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Florida?
Permanent Social Security Disability in Florida

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.