When should I apply for Social Security disability benefits?

Are you struggling with working because of physical or psychological impairments?  Have you stopped working because you just could no longer do the job?

You may be going back and forth on whether to apply for Social Security:

Maybe I will get better.  But, what will I do if I am not able to go back to work?

Filing for Social Security benefits is not something to rush in to.  But, if you are disabled, you should file as soon as you can.

If you wait, you may lose several critical advantages. These include health insurance, access to medical care and financial support including savings, family or spousal assistance.

All Social Security disability cases require medical evidence.  The longer you wait to apply the greater the chance that your health insurance will run out or that you will be in a worse financial position to get the medical evidence you need.

  • If you have health insurance, take advantage of it.  Make sure to take every opportunity to develop severity of your condition:  talk to your doctor about your disability, get tested, and obtain treatment.  The longer you wait after you stop working to treat, the greater the chance that your treatment options will be diminished.
  • Tell your doctor that you are thinking of applying for Social Security and see what she or he says.  Having a supporting physician is often a critical part of a Social Security case.
  • Get legal help early on.  Once you have started the application, start talking to attorneys.  A skilled attorney can help you gather evidence including statements from your doctor(s) in support of your disability.
  • Get your medical records.  While Social Security may get most of the necessary records, you will not know what records they received until the initial decision is made.  If the decision is a denial, you do not get to obtain the missing records and ask for a new initial decision.  Your only option is to appeal and get your case ready for a hearing in front of a judge.  That may take an additional 6 – 18 months (based on my experience in Colorado).
I do not want to push anyone into applying for Social Security: the system is already overcrowded with applicants. However, chances are if you are reading this article, you are already dealing with a disability that keeps you from being able to work. If you feel that you may ultimately have to apply for Social Security disability benefits, it may be better for you to apply sooner rather than later.
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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • kay goody

    is social security disability taxable

  • Sandra

    I just got laid off and will be able to draw unemployment. I will turn 62 in December. This really hurts because I was not planning on retiring at 62. Can I draw unemployment and still receive ss if I file early?

  • Sandra

    I just got laid off and will be able to draw unemployment. I will turn 62 in December. This really hurts because I was not planning on retiring at 62. Can I draw unemployment and still receive ss if I file early?