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Monday, July 27, 2009

Period of Disability

Claimants for Social Security disability must be disabled as defined under the rules of Social Security Administration (SSA) to avail of the benefits. Not only must he be physically or mentally impaired but he must also be disabled for a certain period of time.

The query now is for how must you be disabled to be entitled for the benefits?

The answer is this: an individual must be disabled and unable to work for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Therefore, if your disability is expected to last for a year, you should and must apply for disability as quickly as possible. Most people make the mistake of waiting for some time after becoming disabled before filing a disability claim with the SSA.

If you calculate the months involved, your claim would pass through a lengthy process. Note that the examiners have no deadlines in evaluating your application. Further, appealing the denial of your claim could also take months or years.

In most cases, claims end up in the hands of an administrative law judge hearing or of the Appeals Council Review.

Considering all the periods, you have to file a disability claim the moment you ascertain that your disability would last for at least 12 months. Otherwise, by the time you get your benefits, you may have been in a much worse situation as months passed since you became disabled.

Be reminded that the period above does not include the time within which the claimant could file. Usually, a two-month period is given to file an appeal. The two-month period is different from the period of the appeal process itself. With this, you can only imagine how long the process could be.