If you are disabled and cannot work, life is complicated. You may be taking numerous medications, attending multiple healthcare appointments every week or you may need help to do even the most basic tasks of daily living. Sometimes an individual may simply be dealing with the trials of everyday life that are commonplace for someone with a disability that he or she might not have time to pay attention to things like applying for disability benefits. If you have a medical disability and are dealing with all of these other things, applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be the last thing on your mind. However, the longer you wait until after you are diagnosed with a disability to apply for SSD benefits, the more difficult it can become to successfully be approved to receive SSD benefits. In addition, the earlier that you apply for benefits, the earlier that you can begin to receive the monthly payments that you have paid into the system for many years to receive.
Under federal law, you can apply at any point after having last held a job for SSD benefits. This does not mean that you would want to wait that long to apply for benefits, however. There are other requirements besides just having a disabling medical condition in order to qualify for SSD benefits. This includes having a minimum number of work credits, which the Social Security Administration (SSA) utilizes for calculating whether you are insured, or covered, under the SSD program. If you do not have sufficient work credits, then you cannot obtain SSD benefits, regardless of whether or not you have a disabling medical condition. The longer you wait to apply for benefits, the more credits that will be missing from the time that you spent in the workforce prior to being diagnosed with a disabling condition because you will not have been working as a result of your disability. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to apply for SSD benefits as soon as possible after you first become disabled or are diagnosed with a medical condition that prevents you from working. By doing so, not only do you ensure that your benefits will start earlier than if you had waited to apply, but you also avoid any problems that may come from having waited as it relates to how many work credits you have towards qualifying for SSD.
Procrastination Does Not Necessarily Pay When It Comes to Applying for SSD Benefits
Even though you can wait until some time has passed after you last worked to apply for SSD benefits, this does mean it is necessarily wise to wait that long to apply for benefits. If you wait a long time to apply for SSD benefits, other issues can arise that may affect your ability to qualify for benefits regardless of your medical status. For example, if you are diagnosed with cancer and leave your job because you can no longer work due to your symptoms from cancer and you immediately applied for SSD benefits on Day 1 after receiving your cancer diagnosis, you would have more work credits than if you waited and applied two years after your cancer diagnosis because you would have been out of the workforce for those two years if you waited to apply. Therefore, although sometimes the last thing on your mind may be applying for SSD benefits if you have just been diagnosed with a disabling condition or a serious medical condition, the sooner you apply for benefits, the better off you will be.
Talk to The Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman
The experienced SSD attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman have faced many difficult situations in the past where a client may be applying for SSD benefits at the eleventh hour, but we were still able to help our client successfully obtain SSD benefits. If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and need assistance determining if you qualify for the SSD benefits, what your expected monthly benefit would be if you qualify for benefits, filing your SSD application, or filing an appeal, please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation today.