Do I Meet the Requirements to Submit a Disability Insurance Application?
Q: I was recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition. My doctors say that I will need therapy and treatment and will be unable to return to work for at least the next three-six months. Can I submit a disability insurance application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
A: You can certainly apply for benefits now. Social Security has a requirement that your medical condition be “disabling,” or expected to be disabling, for at least 12 consecutive months before you are eligible for disability insurance benefits. Social Security does have rules for what are called “compassion allowances,” which are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that will qualify you for disability benefits based on medical information from your doctor. You can check with the Social Security Administration and see whether you qualify. You can make an appointment at your local Social Security office or look online at www.ssa.gov/disability for additional information. If you file an application and are denied disability benefits because your condition is not expected to last for 12 months, you should immediately appeal the decision by requesting a reconsideration. Since the Social Security Administration usually takes three to six months to make a decision, you may be able to qualify, if you are still disabled, by the time they make their decision. You can also contact an attorney who understands Social Security disability law for a no-cost consultation.