The best time to apply for Social Security Disability benefits is as soon as you are disabled. It is not always readily apparent when you are injured that your disability is going to be long term, and in order to qualify for Social Security Disability, your disability needs to be expected to last for a year or longer (unless it is believed that your disability will result in your death before a year is up, in which case you may qualify for a compassionate allowance and start receiving Social Security Disability benefits right away). However, you should apply for Social Security Disability after you have determined that your disability is long term and that it prevents from any substantial gainful activity.
If you even suspect that your disability might be long term, you should go ahead and apply for Social Security Disability. The approval process for Social Security Disability can be tedious and long, often lasting several months and sometimes taking more than a year.
Even if you are undecided on whether or not you should file for disability benefits, you should establish a disability protective filing date. The reason this is important is because, if your claim is accepted, you will be paid back pay from date on which your protective filing date was established.
Many people make the mistake of waiting for Worker’s Compensation or other Disability Income Insurance to run out before they apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The reason you shouldn’t wait is because the acceptance process for Social Security Disability benefits is liable to take several months. More likely than not, it will take a year or more for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to approve your claim. If you wait to apply for Social Security Disability until your other options have begin to run out, you may find yourself in the very difficult position of needing to find an alternate way to survive until your disability claim is approved.
Rather than wait to see whether your disability is going to be permanent, apply for Social Security Disability the moment you believe you have a long term disability that prevents you from employment. Not only will this help speed your claim along, but it will also help you to receive more back pay should your claim be accepted.
It is advised that you have a Social Security Disability attorney help you throughout the whole disability process. A qualified lawyer will have a strong knowledge of the system and will be able to relieve the stress associated with getting your disability claim approved. Statistics have shown that claimants working with a disability attorney are more likely to have their claim approved.