Published on: December 2, 2014
Of the many factors that come into play in the onset of disability and while applying for benefits, time is often one of the most important. Knowing when is the right time to file for disability benefits, beyond just how to apply, can make all the difference in your eligibility with Social Security Administration (SSA) programs and the benefits you can receive.
When you are officially diagnosed with a disability, one of the first thoughts you may have will be about how your condition will affect (or has been affecting) your ability to work, and what you can do to make up for lost wages and poor work performance due to your condition: this is the essential purpose of disability benefits. However, just having a disability does not make you immediately eligible; there are other considerations you must make, regarding occupation documentation, medical evidence and the scope of your disability.
This is why, for the best results with your disability application, one of the most valuable things you can do is take a short period to gather all evidence and documents supporting your claims, and contact an experienced disability consultation service to help direct talks with the SSA. The best time to file for disability is once you have ample documentation to not only prove your disability, but also how it affects your current capacity to work and earn in the way you had prior.
Take the Time to Prepare
Despite the onset of a disability or even diagnosis from a licensed professional, you can’t jump ahead with your application for disability benefits. The SSA only has so many funds to disperse to those it deems eligible for disability, making support for your claim and condition absolutely critical to the application process.
The SSA wants to know not only the gritty details of your condition, but also how it can or does affect your ability to work in the same manner as prior to its onset. To be eligible for benefits, your condition must tangibly limit your capacity to earn, and support yourself and your family.
The best time to apply for disability is after a short preparation period, during which you may want to gather all of the following in support of your disability benefits and claim:
- Working history records and earnings
- Tax documentation, most notably contributions to Social Security in the form of tax credits
- Official diagnosis and treatment records from licensed a recognized medical practitioners
- If applicable, detailed reports of what caused your disability, such as a workplace accident or the like
Consider Improving Your Odds with Outside Help
With all of this supporting documentation prepared, you may feel ready to apply for benefits and begin talks with the SSA; however, there’s an additional step that many applicants take before applying that can drastically improve their chances of getting the benefits they seek, and that is contacting an experienced, external disability expert to guide their case.
By hiring a disability professional to review your evidence and claim, you may be notified of missing pieces of evidence that could essentially make your case. These experts know the ins-and-outs of the application process in your area, and can use their prior work and education to get you the benefits you need. Working with the Social Security Administration and applying for benefits doesn’t have to be a challenge, if you know who to talk to.
As the application process differs from state to state, we recommend finding a local disability group to review your application and engage in communication with the SSA and local state agencies; those bodies who will ultimately decide whether or not you are eligible for benefits.
If the documentation and preparation stage is the essential final step before applying for benefits, consulting with a seasoned disability expert in your area is the extra credit that can push your application to success.
Once you have been diagnosed with a disabling condition, the best thing you can do is not only act quickly, but also thoroughly. You’ll want to build your application with every piece of supporting evidence you can find; this is something that an external, experienced disability professional can help you do with ease.
Don’t risk losing your benefits by applying for disability and talking with the SSA on your own. Instead, contact your local disability experts to help direct and improve your application, and bring you the benefits you need to make up for lost work and wages.