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How Long Do You Have to Be Out of Work to Apply for Disability Benefits?

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How Long Do You Have to Be Out of Work to Apply for Disability Benefits?

How Long Do You Have to Be Out of Work to Apply for Disability Benefits?

When applying for Delaware disability benefits, many people have concerns about whether they have to be out of work for a certain time period. This is not necessarily true depending on your disability and work history. What the Social Security Administration (SSA) is really looking for when screening you is whether your disability will prevent you from earning enough monthly income. Talk to a Delaware disability attorney to learn more.


When it comes to concerns about whether you should not be working to qualify for disability benefits, this depends on which program you want. The technical eligibility How Long Do You Have to Be Out of Work to Apply for Disability Benefits?requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) say you need to have a disability that impairs your work performance. These disability insurance requirements also state that your disability must prevent you from working at all.

In other words, you must be out of work to qualify for the SSDI program specifically. You must also have a work history with enough work credits paid into Social Security. This is because SSDI pulls funds you paid into Social Security to cover your monthly benefits. The usual amount of work credits needed is 40, but 20 must be within ten years.

These same rules do not apply if you are applying for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The SSI program will offer monthly payments to you whether you continue to work or not. However, your monthly income from your job must not exceed a certain amount. Otherwise, you will be disqualified for the SSI program.

That monthly limit as of 2021 is $1,310 a month. If you make more than this each month, you will not be eligible for any disability benefits program.


The next most pressing question people have is how soon they will start receiving disability benefits. A disability benefits application review goes through various steps. This means the time period of the review could depend on several factors.

Some of these factors include the type of disability you have, how severe your disability is, the processing time of your medical evidence, and whether another medical evaluation is needed. Sometimes the SSA will have you do a separate medical evaluation by a medical professional of their choosing. Not doing this could delay your claim even longer or lead to a denied claim.

Applying online is generally considered much faster, especially if your disability qualifies you for the Compassionate Allowance program. Consider contacting a Delaware disability lawyer if you have not yet received benefits after several months. This could mean something else.


Finding out you will not receive your disability benefits for another few weeks or months can be stressful. All you have to do is ask a Delaware disability lawyer for help if your claim has been delayed. Call Edelstein Martin & Nelson by dialing (302) 295-5050 for a free consultation today. Our experienced Delaware disability attorneys can be found throughout Wilmington, DE and can help you defend your disability claim.

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