When your medical conditions prevent you from being able to work, you should consider applying for SSI right away. There are many reasons to apply as soon as you are unable to work, which include the following:
Medical documentation of your conditions is vital in a disability claim. As such, you’ll want to start as soon as possible to ensure you have documentation of these conditions. While the length of time records are kept varies from state to state, medical records must be kept by a medical treatment facility for a minimum of ten years in New Mexico. The records of a minor must be kept until they are 21 years old. Some states keep their records for as little as three years. If you were to apply after too much time has passed since your disability began, records may no longer be available, and it may be more difficult to prove you were or are currently disabled. This is especially important for records regarding any accidents, diagnosis, or other related factors that may have caused your inability to work.
Doctors You See
You may have a doctor that understands your disabling conditions and would be supportive of your application for disability. If you were to wait too long to apply, these doctors might move or retire before you are able to get statements from them in regard to your disabling conditions. These kinds of statements can greatly help your case, so if you believe your doctor would be supportive, it would be ideal to start while that doctor is still practicing.
While SSI has no “expiration date,” the appeals process can sometimes take years until there is sufficient proof that your medical and/or mental conditions prevent you from working. Some people may get approved on their first application, but often times you may need to appeal a denial on your claim multiple times before you are able to prove you are not able to work. The quicker you begin the process, the quicker you may be approved for the benefits you deserve.