Filling out the application for Social Security Disability benefits can be intimidating. It is relatively long and if you provide the proper documentation to support your claim for disability, it may take some time to get everything together. This may lead some people to make the mistake of delaying their application. Don't do this.
The reason you don't want to delay filing a claim once you realize you have a serious medical condition that is going to impair your ability to work is that, in some cases, your benefits will tied to the date when you first filed your application. Even if your initial application is denied and you have to request a reconsideration or hearing, if you obtain eventual approval of your benefits, there are limits to the start of back pay that are sometimes determined by the date you applied.
Of course, you don't want to put together a slapdash application, with a great many errors, blank sections or missing documents. Such an application will quickly be rejected. When you realize your condition is truly serious and your ability to work is questionable, you should begin looking for the information necessary to file your claim.
Some other items that could lead to a denial include, making too much money (with different rules for disability insurance and SSI), if your condition is not serious enough and does not prevent your working, if you don't respond to SSA's requests for appointments or exams or if you fail to follow through on your own medical treatment or therapy.
You may want to speak with an attorney when you begin, as this process is complex and working with an attorney who is familiar with the procedures and requirements of the Social Security Administration for disability claims can help prevent errors during the process that could lead to delays or denials.