When Should I Apply for SSI or SSDI Benefits?

Both Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits use the same definition of “disabled” for determining your eligibility for these programs. State programs may also use the same definition. This definition plays an important role in determining the answer to a question we often hear – when should I apply to receive disability benefits?

The basic answer is: as early as possible. The process often goes longer than the several months that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) estimates. Given that the SSA denies most initial applications, the appeals process can stretch your application process out towards a year or more. If you think you may be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important to speak with a Tulsa Oklahoma Social Security disability attorney as soon as you can.

You can apply as soon as you stop working. Additionally, you have to expect that your disability will continue for more than a year.

The length of the process is one of the reasons why it is important for you to apply for benefits as soon as you meet the criteria outlined in the paragraph above. If you wait until your condition worsens to apply for benefits, you just add more time to your application process. However, if you apply as soon as you reasonably qualify to do so, even if the SSA denies your initial application, you can add new evidence once you reach the appeals stage if your condition worsens.

The longer you wait to apply, the less retroactive benefits you may be eligible for as well. The way the SSA determines to start your disability benefits is by first figuring out the date that your disability began. For SSDI applicants, the SSA will go back as far as 12 months before the date you applied. Once the SSA determines the date your disability began, it will add a five month waiting period; then, that is the date from which you will receive benefits.

If you are a recent beneficiary of SSI or SSDI, how did your timing play a role in your application and eligibility?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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