If you are out of work and unsure of when, or if, you will return, applying for Social Security Disability is always a good idea. The program was designed to compensate individuals who are no longer able to perform in a competitive work environment. Social Security requires that you be out of work for 12 months, expect to be out of work for 12 months, or your injuries result in death. Based on this criteria, you don’t need to be out work for 12 months. You just have to expect to be out of work for a year or more.
Applying for Social Security Disability does not cost anything. It can be done over the internet, right in the comfort of your own home. Many people are skeptical about applying for disability benefits for whatever reason, but the truth is, if an injury or impairment is preventing you from working and you have paid into the Social Security system all your life, you are essentially leaving money on the table that is rightfully yours.
There are a few important things to remember when applying for disability benefits. For starters, getting the actual benefits themselves takes time. If denied at the application stage, the appeal involves getting a hearing in front of Administrative Law Judge. That could take several months, but Social Security will compensate you for those months you waited for a hearing if you are eventually rendered disabled. Secondly, if you are in fact awared disability benefits, they last forever, or until you are able to return to the workforce, if that’s a realistic possibility.
The bottom line is, if you are skeptical about applying for disability benefits, you should learn as much as you can about the process. Social Security Disability provides a monthly stream of income as well as Medicare. Consulting with a qualified disability attorney is always a good idea so that you can ensure your legal rights are protected.