When can I file for Social Security disability benefits?

Q: When can I file for Social Security disability benefits?

A: You can file for Social Security disability benefits on the day that you become disabled if you believe that you will be out of work for one year or more.

Sometimes social workers can help you and your family make the initial contact with Social Security. Our office is always ready to help with an initial application. Having the case framed properly from the outset can make the difference between winning at the initial application, or enduring many months of appeals.

Although an applicant can proceed unrepresented, the success rates are significantly different for represented and unrepresented claimants. The final award rate for disabled-worker applicants has varied over time, averaging nearly 45 percent for claims filed from 2000 through 2009. The percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged just 28 percent over the same period and ranged from a high of 37 percent to a low of 26 percent. The percentage of applicants awarded at the reconsideration and hearing levels are averaging 3 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Denied overall disability claims at all stages have averaged nearly 53 percent. Social Security does its best to process cases, but the backlogs are well known. A good attorney will gather all the necessary information THE FIRST TIME, and increase your chances for success.