This is a more complex question than it may seem at first, but I will try to explain my answer in some detail. To begin with, your inability to work must be due to medical problems, whether physical or mental. In other words, no matter how long you are out of work, you cannot get disability unless your inability to work is caused by medical conditions.
If you are unable to work because of medical problems, federal law identifies the time period you must wait before you can claim disability. To be considered disabled under the Social Security Act, you must have been out of work — or be expected to be out of work — due to medical problems for at least one year. That means that, if you have already been out of work for one year as a result of medical conditions, you would be eligible to apply.
May I Collect Disability Benefits if I Can Work?
If you are expected to be unable to work for at least one year due to your medical conditions, then you are eligible immediately, even if you have not been out of work for one day on the date you apply.
A lot of people call my office indicating that they want to apply for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits because of their medical problems. They describe their medical conditions and explain how awful they are. When I ask them how long they have been out of work, they often say that they still work full time. At that point, I tell them they have no case at all.
Claiming disability requires an inability to work. Before you can claim disability benefits, you must generally not be working in any significant capacity.
If you are still working, then you cannot claim an inability to work. Again, you must have been out of work or be expected to be out of work for at least one year before you may apply for disability benefits.
The toughest scenarios I encounter are when someone has been seriously injured but it is not entirely clear whether they will be out of work for a full year. Under those circumstances, I generally recommend that the person should apply for disability benefits and then see what happens later. If you apply and end up returning to work before a year is up, then you can just drop your disability application at that time.
If you end up not being able to work for a year or longer, then you will be glad that you got the process started already. If you are over 50 years of age, I would always recommend being on the safe side and applying for benefits as soon as possible.
How Long Does It Typically Take for the SSA to Approve a Disability Claim?
The duration can vary from person to person. It also depends on the thoroughness of your paperwork and the length of time needed to verify your medical documents and other evidence you have submitted in support of your application.
The initial stage of the SSD benefits application process can take about three to four months to complete. If your disability case is strong and you submit sufficient evidence of your disability with your application, following all Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines, your application is more likely to be approved. For this, you must submit all necessary documents that demonstrate your long-term disability.
If you fail to provide sufficient evidence or do not following the steps outlined by the SSA, your application for disability benefits may be denied, requiring you to move forward with the appeals process. You can appeal the SSA’s decision within the 60 days following your denial. An experienced SSD attorney can represent you during your hearing and will fight for your rights.
Because the process can be long, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced disability lawyer who can analyze your case and provide you with the guidance you need to do it right the first time.
How Can I Win a Social Security Disability Federal Court Appeal?
It is possible to get approved for Social Security disability benefits on the first attempt if you follow every step of the process in accordance with the guidelines. When people initially file for disability benefits, they typically do not even consider the possibility that their application will be denied or that their appeal will end up in federal court.
But when a denial actually happens and it is time to appeal, many people become paralyzed at the thought of what to do next.
If you encounter such a situation and want to win your Social Security disability federal court appeal, speak with an attorney for sound advice on how to proceed. Experienced disability attorneys will have handled cases similar to yours, as well as the extensive knowledge that can help you avoid further obstacles in the process. They can provide you with the legal representation you need to ensure your case is handled efficiently and with the best possible outcome. Many people worry about the legal costs of filing an appeal. However, if your attorney is willing to work on a contingency basis, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket at this point in the process.
If you cannot afford these fees in the future, you may file a written request for a waiver with proof that you are not in a financial position to pay.
Filing the appeal is an important step following a denial for disability benefits. When you have an attorney by your side, you can file an effective appeal in federal district court, detailing why you seek an appeal and including information about why the denial was improper.
This process may sound complicated, but a reputable attorney can handle the process efficiently and effectively.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Disability Payment Once Approved?
If the SSA approves your application, it typically takes a month or two before you will receive your first disability benefits payment. In most cases, it will take even longer for you to receive your back pay. The SSA will calculate your back pay from the date on which you first became disabled.
In total, the disability claims process can take months or years to complete. But, if your case is gets delayed for unexpected reasons, such as an appeal in federal court, you might not have to worry about whether the amount you will finally receive will be decreased. This is because the SSA will calculate what you should have received beginning as soon as you became disabled, even while you go through the appeal, and these sums will be included in back pay.
How long does it take to be approved for disability?
The duration can vary from person to person. It also depends on the thoroughness of your appeal, the length of time needed for verification of medical documents and other evidence you have submitted in support of your appeal, etc.
The initial stage of the SSD benefits application process takes almost three to four months to complete. If your disability case is powerful, and you have completed the disability application by following all the guidelines by SSA, your application will not be denied. For this, you must submit all necessary documents to show your long-term disability issue and other required criteria to qualify for disability. If you don’t do this, you may face denial, you will then have to move forward with the appeals process. You can appeal the decision up to a maximum of 60 days from the date you faced denial. An experienced attorney will represent you well during your hearing and will fight for your rights.
Since the process can be long, it is better to be safe and seek the counsel of an experienced disability lawyer who can analyze your case and provide you with expert representation.