Many people believe that you cannot apply for Social Security disability benefits until you are out of work for a year. Not true! Even if you have just stopped working, if you have a condition that is expected to last for at least a year or cause your death, you should apply right away.

Social Security uses a 5 step sequential evaluation process to determine if you are disabled. As a starting point in their first 2 steps, you must have a “severe” mental or physical impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of 12 months or results in death and impacts your ability to do work related activities. This means that disability benefits a condition like a broken bone will usually not be approved unless there are major complications, because you would be expected to heal in less than a year. However, if you have a condition that is not expected to approve that impacts your ability to work, you can be approved for benefits even if you have just stopped working.

Remember that the date you apply can affect the amount of benefits you receive. The disability process can be a long one, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Copyright (c) 2010 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Long Term Disability claim, ERISA Disability benefit claim, Social Security Disability claim, or Veterans Disability compensation or pension claim, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

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