Contrary to popular belief, there's no set amount of time that you have to wait before applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. You can actually begin the application process as soon as a physical or mental disability forces you to stop working.
However, to qualify for SSDI benefits, your disabling medical condition must have lasted—or be expected to last—for at least one year or result in death. Proving this to the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires extensive medical documentation of your condition and the ways in which it prevents substantial gainful employment (SGA).
Seeking medical treatment for your disability early—and consistently—is key to amassing the necessary supporting documentation for your claim. Additionally, following your doctor's treatment plan to the letter is absolutely essential. Failing to do so can result in the denial of your application for benefits, especially if the SSA examiner evaluating your claim believes the treatment in question would have helped you get back to work.
In addition to your medical documentation, a journal that describes how your condition affects your ability to perform daily tasks can help convey its severity to the SSA personnel tasked with making decisions about your claim.
Unfortunately, no matter when you apply, obtaining SSDI benefits can be a difficult and lengthy process. Working with a skilled Social Security disability attorney when preparing and submitting your application can increase your chances of approval, as we're intimately familiar with the process and its pitfalls.
At O'Connor Law PLLC, our team of dedicated SSDI attorneys can help you gather the necessary documentation and complete your application. If you've already applied and received a denial, we can handle your appeal. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We look forward to discussing your case.