Deciding to file for Social Security Disability
I've come across this one particular sentiment many times over the last few years: "It's getting harder and harder for me to work and I've thought about filing for disability, but I don't know if I should and I don't know how to get started."
Getting started on a social security disability claim is easy enough and simply etails contacting the social security administration (generally by calling a local social security office) and requesting an appointment for a disability application interview.
Getting past the emotional roadblock of whether or not to file for disability is a different thing altogether. Applying for disability can be intimidating for several reasons.
First of all, for anyone who is not familiar with the federal system (which would be anyone who has not worked in it), it can easily seem overbearing and over-complicated. But the emotional roadblock is more than that. For many, the decision to finally establish a disability claim is a signal of defeat, and an acknowledgement and acceptance of a very difficult road ahead. And it's for this reason, I believe, that many potential applicants continually put off the decision to file.
Here's the advice I would give any individual who's physical or mental condition is making it difficult to work and earn and substantial and gainful income (this is defined by the social security administration as SGA, a dollar amount that changes year by year): file for disability and get your application in line, so to speak.
Because, truthfully, with growing backlogs at all levels of the disability system (from the initial claim through to the disability hearing level), the wait for a disability determination will only grow longer over time.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
Disability in the Various States:
New York Disability