When Can You Apply for Social Security?

Helping You Time Your Application for Disability Benefits

If you have developed a condition that is expected to prevent you from working full-time for a year or longer, you are eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits right away. The sooner you act, the more likely that your benefits will be available to you when you need them.

At The Slepian Law Office, we are committed to providing our clients with skilled guidance through the process of applying for disability benefits. If you are concerned about when you can apply for Social Security, we can answer your questions and explain your options.

Myth vs. Fact on When You Should Submit Your Application

Many people delay applying for Social Security disability benefits — and therefore delay receiving them, sometimes for a very long time — because they have heard myths about how they supposedly cannot apply right away. The most common myths are the following:

  • The five-month myth: You may have been told that even if the government approves your disability claim, you cannot get benefits for the first five months of your disability. This is true, at least for the Social Security Disability Insurance program. However, it does not prevent you from submitting your application as soon as you become disabled. You do not need to wait five months before applying for Social Security disability benefits.
  • The one-year myth: You may also have been told that you have to be disabled for a year to qualify for disability benefits. This myth is based on the rule that a disability must last or be expected to last a year (or result in death). If the disabling condition lasts less than a year, it does not qualify you for benefits. However, if there is reason to believe that your disability will last at least a year, you can apply right away. You do not have to be disabled for 12 months prior to applying for Social Security disability benefits.

Like almost anything else involving the federal government, applying for disability benefits takes time — especially if you need to request a hearing on your claim. It is in your interest to apply as soon as you think you may become eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Contact Our Arizona Social Security Law Attorneys at 602-266-3111

If you are no longer able to work due to a physical or mental condition, our experienced lawyers can help you apply for disability benefits. For a free consultation, please contact us at our offices in Phoenix at 602-266-3111, at 888-SLEPIAN or by e-mail.