If you’re thinking about filing for Social Security disability benefits, it’s important to know about the various deadlines that apply. Deadlines can affect not only whether your application or appeal will be considered, but whether you qualify for benefits, and if so, how much you can receive.
What Are Deadlines on Qualifying for Benefits in Los Angeles?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires you to have worked for a certain minimum amount of time before you file for disability benefits in order to receive them. Not only are you required to have worked long enough to receive benefits, but you must also have worked recently enough to receive benefits.
The longer you wait before leaving your last job and filing for Social Security disability, the greater the risk that the SSA will find you do not qualify for benefits.
Benefits are based on your past work, which earns “credits.” You can earn up to four credits per year. The amount of money you must earn to receive one credit changes each year. In 2012, one credit equaled $1,130 in wages; once you earn $4,520, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.
In order to qualify for Social Security disability, you must have earned 40 total credits. Half of these credits, or 20 credits, must be earned within the last 10 years before you stopped working due to disability. If your total credits earned within the last 10 years are less than 20, you will not qualify for disability benefits, even if you’ve earned more than 40 credits in your entire working life. Therefore, it’s important to file for benefits sooner rather than later once you become disabled.
Children and younger adults may be able to qualify with fewer work credits. For instance, children and young adults under age 22 do not need credits as long as they have at least one parent who has enough credits to qualify, even if the parent is not disabled. Between ages 22 and 30, young adults need a reduced amount of credits, earned between turning age 21 and becoming disabled.
What Are the Deadlines for Filing an Appeal?
If your initial application for Social Security disability benefits is denied, you have the right to request a reconsideration of your case. A reconsideration is the first step in the process of appealing a Social Security disability benefits denial.
Once you receive a denial letter, you have sixty days to request a reconsideration in writing. The Social Security Administration provides instructions on how to request a reconsideration, or an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney can help you. Although sixty days sounds like a long time, it passes quickly when you are trying to gather updated medical records and prepare a request for reconsideration. Therefore, it’s wise to start as soon as possible.