Why You Shouldn’t Wait to File for Disability

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to File for Disability

I didn’t file for disability after receiving my diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. I had left the workforce 4 years prior to being a stay-at-home mom and we were living well on my husband’s income.

Filing for disability with psoriatic arthritis

My doctors led me to believe that my condition would improve and that I would be able to return to the workforce if needed.

A few years later my doctors changed their tune and stated that I was as good as I will ever be, and I decided it was time to apply for disability. I had paid into the system for 12 years and while the amount I would receive wasn’t going to be a lot, it was better than nothing. Unfortunately, I waited too long.

Qualifications for receiving disability

According to the Social Security Administration, to qualify for disability one must have worked for five of the past ten years if they are over the age of 31.

There are different qualifications for those 31 and younger, and they should contact Social Security or a lawyer as soon as they become disabled.

At the time of my diagnosis, I had been out of the workforce for 4 years. Had I looked into applying for disability at that time, I would have known that I only had one year left to apply.

By the time my doctors declared me disabled I had been out of the workforce for 7 years. Talk about being a day late and a dollar short!!

Should I wait to file for disability?

You should apply as soon as possible if your condition has forced you to stop working, and you foresee that it will keep you out of work for at least a year. The process is long and you will most likely need to hire a lawyer.

Remember that the longer you wait, the more you risk losing out on income that could offset the expense of living with a chronic illness.

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