How to Decide: Apply Right Now or Wait and See?

Artwork: Robin Mead

I’ve meet a lot of people who regret waiting too long to apply for disability. I am yet to meet a single person who regrets applying too early.

The typical disability application takes 2 to 3 years to get approved. (Of course, if you are here reading this guide, you know there are many things you can do to increase your chances of getting approved sooner).

I’ve noticed an interesting trend with friends with ME/CFS, Lyme, and Toxic Mold exposure. People with these conditions seem to wait much longer to apply for disability.

I would guess this is partly because it takes many people longer to get a diagnosis, and partly because many people experience not being believed, and partly because of the this-is-not-really-happening-to-me phenomenon.

Whatever the reason, a lot of people I have met do wait too long and wind up in bad situations — losing healthcare, housing, marriages, caretakers — or completely missing their “window of opportunity” to apply.

Many people do not realize: Disability is based on work credits, and these credits do expire. If you wait too long, in some circumstances, you may not be able to apply at all.

Sadly, I cannot go back in time and tell people to do it differently. All I can do is tell you right now: Now is your moment to make choices to take care of yourself for your future.

Only you know what is right for you and what is possible for you and whether you are genuinely too sick to continue working. No matter what anyone else says, no one else can know this for you.

If you need help and you are on the fence about applying for the help you need, please take a moment to read Bluebell’s story. It may give you a few good ideas:

How to Be Like Bluebell

“I agree! I waited and it takes forever to get the assistance I so desperately need. If you are even thinking about applying, go ahead and do it!” – JVC


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