Most people work full-time jobs and earn a wage to financially support themselves and their families. However, if an individual suffers a debilitating injury and is no longer able to work, the suffering may be physical and financial. Fortunately, those who are injured and can’t work may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits to help cover their living expenses. Here’s how to know when to apply for disability and how to begin the application process.
When to apply
Those seeking SSDI benefits should submit their application at the earliest opportunity. It may take up to 12 months for an application to be processed, so apply as soon as the injury or illness is diagnosed. The application can be made at any point after diagnosis, but there is a mandatory waiting period of five months between the onset of a person’s condition and when disability benefits are paid.
What to include
The first step in applying for SSDI benefits is to gather all of the necessary medical documentation and supporting evidence. This typically includes medical records, test results and the opinions of examining physicians. When filling out the application, the applicant should be sure to provide detailed information about the condition and how it affects the ability to work.
Where to go for help
To apply for Social Security disability benefits, those applying will need to complete the Social Security Disability Report and the application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. This can conveniently be done online by visiting the Social Security Administration website. Before applying, it is often helpful to consult an experienced disability attorney who can guide a client through the application process and help file an appeal if the benefits claim is initially rejected.