When should I apply for Social Security Benefits?

You can apply for Social Security benefits at the time you become disabled.  Typically, in order to qualify for benefits, you must have a disabling condition which has prevented gainful employment for 12 months or is expected to be disabling for 12 months or longer.  Even if you have not been out of work for a year but think that you will be unable to work for a full 12 month period, you should immediately file for Social Security benefits.