Social Security Q&A: Disability questions

Social Security Q&A: Apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled if you believe your disability will last a year or longer.
Published: May 12, 2013
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Q: I heard that my disability must be expected to last a year to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Does this mean I have to wait until I've been disabled an entire year before applying for disability through Social Security?

A: No. If you believe your disability will last a year or longer, apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. It can take an average of three to four months to process an application. If your application is approved, we will pay your first Social Security disability benefits for the sixth full month after the date your disability began. For example, if your state agency decides your disability began on January 15, we will pay your first disability benefit for the month of July. We pay in the month following the month for which they are due, so you will receive your July benefit in August.

For more information about Social Security disability benefits, go to Disability Benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10029.html.

Ticket to Work

Q: I am on disability. I would really like to try to work again.

I understand Social Security's Ticket to Work might let me try working without jeopardizing my benefits. What can you tell me about it?

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