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  • Christopher Le

How Long Do You Have to Be Out of Work Before You Can Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Theres not a requirement to be disabled for any length of time before you apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or SSI disability benefits. You are eligible to apply for SSD or SSI benefits as soon as you stop being able to do a substantial amount of work.

When can you apply? There is no requirement that you have to be out of work for six months or a year before you can apply for or collect disability benefits. In fact you can apply for disability benefits as soon as you leave employment or are let go because of your medical impairment. However, you must be expected to not be able to work for at least one year to qualify for SSDI or SSI. This is called the durational requirement. So if you stop working in january 2021 and then return to substantial work in June 2021, you have not met the 12 month durational requirement.

How does working affect my disability decision? If you work up till the time you apply for social security disability, this can throw doubt on your claim. The question that arises is why did you file for disability while still being employed. You’ll need to provide medical proof that, even though you were working when you applied for disability, you weren't succeeding in your job. If your medical impairment caused you to miss work, or you had to reduce your hours due to your medical condition, make sure you include this information on the forms that social security provides to you. In addition, if your employer had to give you special accommodations for you, it’s important to include that information as well.

How does working affect my backpay? Working right up until you apply for social security disability will also affect whats caled your disability onset date. Your disability onset date is the date you became unable to work. If you can show that your recent work was an unsuccessful work attempt, then your disability onset date could be prior to the date you stopped working. An unsuccessful work attempt is when you try working but had to quit a short time after due to your medical condition.

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