When Should You File for Social Security Disability?


If you are disabled and unable to work, our best advice is to pursue a claim for Social Security disability and file the claim immediately. Do not wait for the “perfect claim,” and do not wait until other sources of income—like workers compensation—run out. Here’s why:

It is an unfortunate fact that Social Security disability cases are seriously jammed up and you are going to wait a long time to get a ruling on your claim. For the Omaha Social Security hearing office, the average processing time is 253 days. So the wait is bad even if you file quickly, but life can be much more difficult if you wait and your financial situation takes a turn for the worse.

Many people put off filing for disability benefits because they hope their medical situation will improve. If you get better you can always drop your claim and return to work. If you don’t get better, there’s no way to make up for the time you’ve missed.

Although Social Security only pays benefits for disabilities that have prevented a person from working for at least a year you do not have to wait that long to file for benefits if your disabling condition is expected to last 12 months or longer.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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