The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers disability benefits. To get disability benefits, you must be unable to work for at least 12 months because of your medical condition.
To get the highest disability settlement, you should enlist the help of a knowledgeable disability attorney. You will need to gather supporting medical evidence and other documentation.
How Long Do You Have To Be Disabled To Get Disability?
You must be unable to work for at least 12 months, but it does not have to be at least 12 months since you last worked to apply for disability benefits.
The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine how long you must be experiencing your disability before applying as the requirements can change for each medical condition.
Documentation and supporting medical evidence are essential to the success of a disability claim, so discuss your medical condition with your treating physician and ask him or her how they feel about the success of your disability claim.
When Should You Claim Disability Benefits?
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled and know you will be unable to work for 12 months. When your physician tells you that you are unable to return to work, or as soon as you realize that you are unable to work and earn a living, you should start the disability claims process.
It can take several months – sometimes longer than a year – for a claim to be approved, so it is imperative that you get your claim underway as quickly as possible. Waiting to pursue your claim can delay the process even longer, so you should file your claim as soon as you realize you are going to be unable to work.
What Qualifies For Disability Benefits?
There are many medical conditions that may qualify for disability benefits. To qualify for disability benefits, the following must apply to your situation:
- You must be unable to work and earn a living for at least 12 months
- Your condition meets the criteria of a Blue Book listing
- You have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
You will need documentation that supports your claim and confirms the severity of your medical condition and how it keeps you from working and earning a living. Your physician should be able to provide supporting documentation and medical records that confirm the severity of your condition and how it affects your ability to work and earn a living.
Get Help From A Disability Attorney
A disability lawyer can be an asset for your disability claim. If you are unable to work and earn a living, get your disability claim underway. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share the details of your disability claim with an attorney who represents disabled workers in your state.
The SSA reports that claimants represented by a lawyer are more likely to have their disability claim approved.