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

Suffering from a permanent or continuous physical injury can be devastating.  Not only do you need to deal with potentially time-consuming and painful medical expenses, but you still need to deal with many of the rigors of day-to-day life.  Claiming benefits through Social Security Disability (SSD) can help alleviate some of the stress of not being able to work by providing you with ongoing benefits to support yourself and your family.  But when should you apply for these benefits?  What is the best time to start filing your disability claim?  The Pennsylvania disability attorneys at Young, Marr, and Associates may be able to help.

When Should I Apply for Social Security Disability in Pennsylvania or New Jersey?

In most cases, you should apply for disability as soon as possible.  Disability is something that you can only receive if your condition makes it too difficult to work, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) may closely scrutinize your case.  That means that if there is any delay where you did not apply, it may seem to the SSA that your case is not urgent or that you were not truly in need of disability benefits.

When you apply for Social Security Disability, you may face some wait times.  First, there is time for the paperwork to reach review.  After that, there may be time for the SSA to review your application, during which time they may ask for additional paperwork from your doctor or may even request a medical exam from their own physicians.  After reviewing your application, it can still take some time for the SSA to accept your application.  In some cases, you may even be denied disability, and it takes time to appeal your disability claims and fight to get you the benefits you need.

You may ultimately be entitled to retroactive benefits and back benefits, depending on how you apply for SSD benefits.  In most cases, SSD can pay back benefits that reach all the way back to your application date.  This means that the earlier you get your application in, the more time you can receive benefits for.  In some cases, you may even be entitled to retroactive benefits, which date back to the first day you were disabled.  In these cases, the date you apply might not be as important – but you cannot begin receiving benefits until your application is approved, so act quickly.

In many cases, applying for disability is a huge burden.  The expectation is that your condition makes it impossible to perform work-related tasks, yet you may still be required to work through packets of difficult paperwork.  Talk to a disability attorney for help on your application.

What Conditions Qualify for Disability in Pennsylvania + New Jersey?

One important factor to consider in timing your disability application is that you should not apply until you actually qualify for disability.  In some cases, your condition or illness may be building over the years.  Even if you have a qualifying condition, your condition may not yet be sufficiently “severe” to qualify you for benefits.

To qualify for SSD, your condition must be sufficiently “severe” by the SSA’s definition.  The SSA defines a severe condition as one that “interfere[s] with basic work-related activities.”  This can include both physically-demanding work activities as well as work activities that demand mental focus or concentration.  If your condition is severe enough to prevent you from being able to work, it may be time to seek disability benefits.

Unlike other programs, Social Security Disability does not provide benefits for short-term disabilities.  Instead, the Social Security Administration’s rules actually assume that you have other ways to provide for yourself for short-term disabilities, such as through private insurance, personal investments, or state workers’ compensation benefits.  This means that the SSA will hold strictly to its rules, and it will not pay benefits until you fully qualify for disability.  Take this into account when timing your application.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer Before Applying for Disability?

Applying for Social Security Disability may be a long process, and having someone with experience may ease your application process.  Talking to an attorney about your application before submitting it can help you ensure that your application is accurate and strong before submitting it.  If your application is accepted on the first try, there is no need to appeal the SSA’s decisions or worry about having your application denied.

Especially if your condition is not listed in the SSA’s list of qualifying conditions, you may need help submitting your application.  A social security disability lawyer can help guide you through the application process.

Our Disability Lawyers Can Help You File for Benefits

If you or a loved one suffered from a condition that might qualify them for Social Security Disability, talk to an attorney right away.  The Pennsylvania and New Jersey disability lawyers at Young, Marr, and Associates represent people applying for disability throughout PA and NJ.  For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (215) 701-6519 in PA and (609) 755-3115 in NJ.

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