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Social Security

  • Writer's pictureStephanie O. Joy, Esq.

When to file for SSD? Is sooner always better?

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

Note: This article is for general information only and is not legal advice to any particular reader or individual. For legal advice, you must specifically retain a lawyer.

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When to file for SSD? Does it matter?

There are many considerations to be had, when pondering filing for Social Security Disability. The SSA states, "You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled."

I'd probably agree that if there was only one avenue permitted, or to put it into a nutshell, this would be the one I'd grab and run with. After all, if one has stopped working, he will eventually run into an expiration of his SSD (?) insured status which may then greatly impact his chances of ever securing SSD benefits. When it says "as soon as you become disabled", however, it gets slippery. We are not SS disabled until our evidence exists showing to the adjudicator's satisfaction it has or will prevent ability to work for at least 12 months. So, an unthinking quick application when a severe impairment strikes, may not be in a claimant's best interest if that medical evidence is not yet born. It is simply, well, not that simple. Aside from the minimum duration rule, which may easily defeat a quickly initiated filing, there may also be need for differentiating evidence of severity of one's condition after work ceases, compared to while still 'able' to work (if that is part of the fact pattern). There are other important considerations as well, not the least of which is if one has current diligent treatment vs. a current large gap that must be remedied.

Rushing into a filing before studying up or retaining experienced representation to analyze your specific situation, can often be a mistake that can be avoided for the betterment of your claim success. Let's get those ducks in a row.

For SSD/SSI representation consideration, please fill out our free Attorney Evaluation form. We do not charge a retainer to serve you. If, on the other hand, you seek an attorney level consultation/analysis of a particular situation, whether you are a company or an individual, or to discuss your own situation without representation, to learn information beyond that information you may obtain for free from the SSA itself, and you do not otherwise have a lawyer representing your before the SSA, you may order a scheduled consultation at affordable attorney rates. Contact the office at 201-317-0610 or email

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