If I am injured or disabled when is the best time to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits?

If you have been injured or you are disabled you can apply for disability benefits immediately. Before you file, however, you need to make sure you meet the basic nonmedical requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Qualifying for SSDI benefits

So how do you know if you qualify for SSDI benefits? First, determine if you are working too many hours or making too much money. If you are able to work and earn $1800 per month in 2014, the SSA will consider you not disabled and will automatically deny your claim.

Next, determine if your condition is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. If you have a short-term condition, regardless of the severity, you will be denied benefits. Finally, make sure you have sufficient work credits to be considered insured. If you have not worked or have insufficient work credits, you will automatically be denied SSDI benefits.

Should I file for SSDI disability benefits if I am receiving Workers' Compensation?

If you are currently receiving workers' compensation benefits you may also qualify for SSDI benefits. You may also want to file immediately to ensure there are no gaps in your benefit coverage. Before you file, however, be sure to talk to someone familiar with workers' compensation laws in your state. Although you can qualify for both workers' compensation payments and SSDI, workers' compensation or SSDI benefits can be reduced if you receive both benefits.

Should I wait until I have depleted my savings accounts to apply for SSDI disability?

The Federal Government offers two types of disability benefits: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) are not offered to claimants who have resources or income which exceeds a certain level. If you are applying for SSI you will be denied benefits if your income and resources are too high.

If, however, you are applying for SSDI benefits you should apply immediately. Having additional resources, such as investments or savings, are not considered in the approval process and will not keep you from getting benefits.

Severe injuries not expected to last for 12 months

If you have been severely injured and you are unable to work but your condition is NOT expected to last 12 continuous months, there is no reason to apply for SSDI benefits. The SSA will automatically deny your claim. SSDI benefits are only for long-term conditions, regardless of the severity of your current condition.

Is there a waiting period for SSDI benefits?

Yes, if your SSDI application is approved you will not receive benefits until the sixth full month following the date the Social Security Administration determines your disability began. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due. For instance, benefits due for December 2014 would be paid in January 2015.

Even though there is a five month waiting period, given the length of the approval process, most experts recommend applying for SSDI immediately rather than waiting five months.

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