When to File for Social Security Disability Benefits | Horn & Kelley

Written by John Horn. Posted in Blogs, Social Security Disability

Attorney Consulting with Clients, Horn & KelleyWhen you are unable to work and provide for your future, it can be incredibly stressful. While Social Security Disability Benefits are designed to provide for people in that exact situation, there may be a larger gray area involved than you realize. Many people are concerned about being denied, so they may hesitate to file their initial application.

If you wait too long, however, you may lose benefits. Striking the proper balance can be a difficult challenge, but you need to make sure you’re focused on your needs and that you’re taking every possible step for your own security.

Below, you’ll find a guide to some factors you should keep in mind when deciding whether you should apply for Social Security Disability Benefits. Knowing all the variables can help you make the right decision for yourself and your family and can help you be confident in that choice.

Ability to Work

The primary question that you’ll be asked when you file for Social Security Disability Benefits is whether or not you’re able to work. If you determine that’s true on your own, before you try to prove it to someone else, this can help you feel confident in your decision.

However, it’s important to remember that there’s a distinction between being able to work and being able to work in your chosen field. If you work in a labor position, for example, but might still be able to complete retail or office work, it might be difficult to prove the extent of your disability depending on your age. Make sure you verify with your doctor that your ability to support yourself is truly compromised so that you have a better understanding of the disability benefits you can expect.

If you do file an application, make sure you give specific reasons why your condition prevents you from working. For example, if you have a chronic illness, perhaps you can’t get out of bed many days, which stops you from going to work. Be as specific as possible when considering if your health problems make working impossible.

Classification of Your Condition

Some conditions may not be recognized by the government; this can be an especially frustrating part of filing for Social Security Disability Benefits.

A thorough exam can reveal underlying issues that previously went unnoticed and can be a good way to help your benefits be approved. See a doctor so you know exactly what the cause of your health problems is—that way, you know how long your condition is likely to last and what the exact diagnosis is. This information is crucial if you want to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits.

Length of Recovery

Not all conditions are severe enough to cause permanent disability. If your condition is expected to last at least 12 months or longer, and it keeps you from working, you should apply for Social Security Disability Benefits. However, if your condition is likely to only last a few months at most, you won’t qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits.

Horn & Kelley PC is a law firm with the necessary experience to help guide you through the disability process. Working with dedicated attorneys can help guarantee that your interests are protected and can allow you to secure your future with access to the benefits you deserve.


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With locations in Tinley Park, IL; La Grange, IL; Chicago, IL; & Highland, IN, getting started on your Social Security Disability claim has never been easier.

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