You do NOT have to be out of work for at least one year before you are able to apply for disability insurance benefits.
You can and should file for benefits as soon as you are unable to work. Don't let anyone - including someone with Social Security - talk you out of applying until you have been off work for one year. You need only show either that you have in fact been off work for a year or more, or that your medical condition is such that it is likely that you will be off work for least one year. If you can't work, file!
You do NOT absolutely need a favorable report from your doctor that you are unable to work to win your claim.
However, the existence of such a report is certainly helpful to your claim, and frequently means the difference between a win or a loss. If your doctor is willing to prepare such a report, have him or her - along with your attorney - do it and submit it to Social Security. Also, it is very important for you to obtain copies of your most important medical records (your attorney can help you identify what those records are) and file them with your intitial application for benefits. But, don't delay your filing, however, in order to get copies of your medical records. Have your attorney file first without the records if you have to, and deliver the medical records to him or her later when you can get them.
You should NOT give up when Social Security turns you down.
If you are truly unable to work, appeal each and every adverse decision timely, with the assistance of your attorney. Don't give up simply because the agency tells you that it doesn't believe you are totally disabled. Almost everyone gets turned down at least once and usually even twice, particularly if you are under 50 years of age or have a High School Diploma or GED. If your claim is denied a second time, continue with another appeal, this time for a formal hearing before an Administrative Law udge.
If you have a Workers Compensation claim, you can also file for Social Security benefits; and the same is true if you have a personal injury claim or a Veterans Disability Claim or Award.
Do not believe anyone from Social Security or anywhere else who tells you that you can not get Workers Compensation benefits and Social Security disability benefits. It is not true.
If the reason you are unable to work is because your medical problems arose out of a serious work-related event, you do NOT have to wait to file for disability benefits until your workers compensation benefits cease. You may concurrently receive a check for both disability insurance benefits and workers compensation benefits. There may be some reduction in the amount due to the Social Security offset rule, but in 95%-plus of the cases, most claimants receive checks which exceed the total from either source. Many injured workers are not aware of the fact that they can receive lifetime awards both from Social Security as well as from the Utah Workers Compensation system.
Receipt of a personal injury award by settlement or Court decision does not mean you cannot receive Social Security disability benefits, too. It does not mean that you do not have a valid Social Security claim for the same reasons that a Workers Compensation claim and a Social Security claim are not mutually exclusive. If you are disabled, you can file, and the fact that you are receiving or may receive benefits from a personal injury action should not prevent you from filing for Social Security disability benefits.You can get benefits from both.
The same is also true for Veterans Disability Claims and Awards. Veterans may receive Veterans benefits as well as Social Security disability benefits. In fact, the receipt of a Veterans Disability Award is a factor which is given great weight by the Social Security Administration in evaluating disability claims.
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