When is the Best Time to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

July 26, 2016

Social Security Disability is a social safety net program that provides a source of income for those who have a serious or terminal illness which keeps them from being able to work. In order to qualify for SSD benefits, you must have sufficient work history, and a qualifying medical condition. Social Security Disability is a total disability program, so in order to be considered eligible, you must be unable to work, which means, according to the Social Security Administration, being unable to earn a substantial gainful activity (SGA).

If the day comes when you feel you can no longer work – either because you are in pain, or because you are seriously ill, you should speak immediately to an experienced Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorney about starting the application process. Most people file their claim:

  • The day after they leave their jobs
  • The day that their monthly income drops below the approved SGA level for the year ($1,130 for 2016)

This does not mean, however, than you will able to collect your SSD benefits right away. Although the SSA estimates that it takes between 3 and 6 months to get a decision once you have submitted your application, it often takes much longer than that. Given that about 70 percent of initial claims for Social Security Disability benefits are denied on the initial application, most claimants will have to file an appeal and go through a disability hearing, which extends the waiting period even longer.

If you have the type of disability that is not easily “proved” to the SSA, you may want to wait until you are out of work for a few months before you apply. However, it is usually best to start the application process as soon as possible. This is one of the things you will discuss with your Philadelphia SSD lawyer.

If you have been permanently disabled and need to collect Social Security Disability benefits, Larry Pitt & Associates can help. Our Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyers help the injured and ill throughout Pennsylvania. To schedule a free consultation, please call 888.PITT.LAW or fill out this contact form. We are proud to help families across the state, including those in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.