When To Apply for Social Security Disability or SSI


Social Security disability and SSI cases can drag on for a long time. In fact, it is not uncommon for an initial application to exceed the 90-120 days commonly estimated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and take as long as six months to complete. And if an initial claim for disability benefits is denied (about 70% of initial claims are), going through the lengthy appeals process will become necessary.

Given these conditions, claimants for Social Security disability or SSI benefits often find themselves in great financial distress prior to the time of a disability hearing. So if you believe you are disabled and unable to work, you should probably minimize the waiting time by filing a Social Security disability or SSI application as soon as you are eligible.

Most claimants will be eligible to file a disability application the day after they stop working or the day after their earnings drop below $1,950 per month (the SGA level as of 2017), assuming their condition is expected to last at least one year or qualifies under the Compassionate Allowance program.

If you can’t work, there is usually no reason to wait until your condition gets extreme to get the process started. If your initial application is denied and your medical condition worsens by the time of your appeal hearing, you’ll be able to submit the new evidence about how your condition has deteriorated. For borderline cases, disability claims without an obvious, clear-cut long-term impairment, in some disability attorneys suggest you wait until you haven’t worked for six months before you apply for benefits.

However, waiting can cost you back payments later; if you are denied disability benefits, and months or years later, you win your appeal or you file again and win benefits. You may be able to get benefits back to your original filing date or your original disability date. Disability lawyers are often able to help you get disability benefits going back months or years.

If you plan on filing for disability soon but can’t do it right away, you may want to get what’s called a “protective filing date.”

Essentially, you let Social Security know that you’ll be filing a disability application in the next few weeks or months. When you file, the date you alerted Social Security that you intended to file effectively becomes like your application date for several purposes. The day you start a disability application online can act as a protective filing date even if you don’t finish the application for several weeks. You do have to complete your application within a certain amount of time and tell Social Security that you want to obtain a protective filing date. For more information, see our article on protective filing dates for Social Security.

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We're Somerset Disability

The Social Security Disability Advocates

Somerset Disability is the national social security advocacy firm with local presence.  Our experience helping good people navigate the bureaucracy of the Federal Government.  The Social Security Administration or SSA is a government program that begins at birth, registering your birth record. SSA is there when you get your first job and receive a Social Security Card that is you government ID and allows you to pay taxes and into social security for retirement benefits.Social Security Administration - Card The SSA also is there for you when you become disabled and they are there for you as a safety-net.

Should you ever become disabled and require the help and assistance of the SSA, be warned - claiming social security benefits is typically a long and drawn out process of applications, hearings, appeals and in the most difficult cases you will fight your case at the Federal courts.

At Somerset Disability we are here for you every step of the way.  From your first call to our Social Security Intake Center, we will help you with a free no obligation assessment of your case.  Our intake agents are experts in assessing your details and if your have a claimable disabling medical condition they will start the paperwork for you and we can start working on your case.

Somerset Disability LLC is headquartered in Atlanta north with a caring team of attorneys, case managers, specialist ssa claim agents and paralegals in all 50 states.   Call us today and experience the southern hospitality that has made Georgia famous. At Somerset we will treat your social security disability claim with experience and an ongoing commitment to constant communications, and when you need an update on your case, remember we are just a call away.

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