My clients are frequently surprised to learn that they do not need to be out of work for a year before they can file for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. In fact, you can file for SSD benefits the day after you stop working because SSD benefits can be awarded if your medical condition is found capable of preventing you from working for at least 12 months.
I represent a 44 year old truck driver who had to stop working because of his injuries in September 2009. I filed his application the following month, and while it was initially denied in February, it was approved yesterday week through the on-the-record process. Because the SSA believed that the claimant’s condition would be disabling for at least a year, he was found eligible to receive SSD benefits as of March 2010, which is after the expiration of the full five month waiting requirement.
The claimant should start receiving his monthly SSD benefits shortly, which is well within a year of the date that he stopped working. The result is that the claimant can start to pay for his needs sooner than expected, and it also minimizes his legal fees.