Some disabilities occur suddenly, such as after a serious collision or a workplace accident that causes catastrophic injuries and renders the person unable to be gainfully employed again. But other disabilities occur slowly over time.
For instance, that nagging backache you notice after a particularly long day of lifting and bending may appear to merely be an occasional nuisance. But slowly but surely, you realize that your mobility is decreasing at the same rate your pain is increasing in both strength and frequency. You start to realize that simply carrying out the everyday tasks of your job is becoming nearly impossible.
What can you do right now to protect your interests?
One of the first things that you must do is to have a doctor document your injuries, limitations and pain levels. In order to successfully file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you will need to establish a paper trail of medical documentation. In the above hypothetical back injury, this might include chiropractic reports, X-rays, MRIs and any medical notes in your chart(s) with the doctor(s) from whom you sought treatment.
When should you file for SSDI benefits?
One thing to keep in mind is that the process of obtaining SSDI benefits is often slowed by bureaucratic red tape and a backlog of cases. Also, it is quite common to be turned down the first time and have to appeal the decision in order to prevail.
Given those factors, it is a good idea to file for your SSDI benefits as soon as you suspect your disability has become chronic. Having experienced guidance can help ease the process along.