When Should I File for Disability?
Let experienced Tampa Bay Social Security disability attorney Joseph M. Rooth help you get the benefits you deserve.
Long-term disabilities can happen as a result of accidental injuries, sudden illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. When they prevent you from working, Social Security disability benefits provide a safety net. Unfortunately, getting the benefits you are entitled to can prove challenging. Lengthy delays in processing claims and denials are common. To prevent going months or even years without the disability benefits you deserve, our Tampa Bay Social Security disability attorney provides tips on when is the best time to file.
Determining Eligibility for Social Security Disability
Social Security benefits can help offset lost income in the event medical conditions prevent you from being able to work. One of the biggest considerations in determining when to apply regards meeting eligibility requirements. These include:
- You must have paid into the program. This means that you must have had Social Security taxes deducted from your paycheck or yearly tax return.
- You must have earned the required amount of work credits. These are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income, You can earn up to a maximum of four credits per year and generally must have at least 40 credits, 20 of which were earned over the past 10 years.
- You must have a qualifying medical condition. The SSA provides a comprehensive listing of impairments, covering a variety of disorders that can impact your physical, emotional, and cognitive health.
- You must be unable to work. In order to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must prevent you from working for a year or more.
When to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration recommends applying for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. However, be aware that there is a five-month waiting period, which begins the first full month after the date they determine that your disability began. It is also important to realize that lengthy delays in the benefit approval process are common. Many claims are denied during the first application and are only accepted after refiling and providing additional information.
To protect yourself and your rights regarding benefits, you should consider filing for Social Security disability as soon as possible. Follow these steps:
- Get a firm diagnosis from your doctor regarding your condition and your prognosis for recovery.
- Keep thorough records regarding medical providers, treatments you undergo, and any medications you are taking.
- Keep a journal documenting how your condition impacts your ability to work, engage in hobbies, and perform household tasks.
- Regardless of the severity of your condition, begin the process of filing your claim the day after you stop working or once your income level drops below the SSA threshold, which in 2021 is $1,310 per month.
Contact Our New Port Richey Disability Attorney
Tampa Social Security disability attorney Joseph M. Rooth provides trusted guidance throughout the disability claims process, helping you get the maximum benefits in the least amount of time. To request a consultation, call at 727-849-3400 or contact our office online today.