Social Security Disability Limited Time to Apply for Benefits
If you believe you are not going to be able to return to the workforce within 12 months it is important to go ahead and file your application for disability. Although you can file it at any point, the longer you wait the harder it becomes to prove. It will be difficult to remember where you went to the doctor and what was going on when the problems started.
Social Security starts their inquiry into disability based on the medical records. If you cannot remember where you went to the doctor or there are gaps in treatment that makes proving your case all the more difficult. If you file sooner you will be able to remember where to tell Social Security to go look for your records.
There are also issues that can occur with Title II benefits. Title II benefits are based on your work history. Think of it almost like car insurance. When you are working and paying in you are paid up through a certain date. The same thing that would happen with your car insurance happens with Title II benefits when you stop paying, your coverage runs out after a certain date. This is called your date last insured. If you have worked steadily it is typically somewhere between 3 to 4 years from the time you stopped working. If you wait until after your date last insured to apply it will give you difficulty with appeals as well as limit what the judge will consider on your disability claim. The judge is only allowed to consider those medical conditions that occurred before the date last insured if that date has already passed.
If you receive VA benefits or your household income is over Social Security limits, then you will not be eligible to the SSI program. If you are not eligible for SSI, the inquiry stops there. They do not consider your medical conditions if you are not eligible for the program.
In any case here are some helpful ideas regardless of when you apply.
Keep up with you doctors appointments.
Always keep a list of your current medications.
If you have a condition like seizures or migraines that can strike at unpredictable times, keep a calendar of how often they happen.
If you have diabetes, keep a log of your blood sugars.
These types of calendars or logs will help Social Security understand how your condition disrupts your day so frequently that you cannot work.
Social Security will also want a list of where you worked for the last fifteen years.
Make sure Social Security always has a good address and phone number to reach you.
They will send you forms to complete that need to be return promptly. If they cannot reach you, that may result in a denial.
A good way to look at disability is to ask yourself this question, “Knowing what you do about your health would you hire you for a job? If not, why not? What would the problems be?”
Social Security is trying to determine your stamina to work full-time. You need to show Social Security why you no longer have the stamina to do that.
When applying for Social Security Disability Limited Time to Apply for Benefits therefore you MUST act swiftly and keep the above advice in mind at all times. If you are applying in North Carolina from Raleigh to the Coast, feel free to give us a call and let Susan O’Malley, our Board Certified Social Security Disability Specialist help you with your claim.