I am unable to work since January, 2016 due to an injury. My friend insists that I have to be disabled for 12 months before I can apply for my Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. But I thought I heard otherwise. What is the truth on this?
No, the 12 months need not have passed! To meet the duration requirement, you must have a suitable impairment "which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months in a row." And of course, you have to have strong medical proof of that medical expectation of how long your limitations will last (for at least 12 months). Rarely do I suggest someone waits to file, if the expected duration is likely at least 12 months, even if they don't have medical confirmation. There are other good reasons for starting that filing now, particularly if you have an SSD lawyer working on your claim for you.