If you are disabled and collecting short-term disability, it is unlikely that you will qualify for Social Security benefits at first. Insurance companies usually offer short-term disability to individuals who will recover from an injury over a short time. The disability insurance formula is different from Social Security in determining benefits.
You cannot apply for benefits for the first five months of your disability, and usually your short-term disability benefits have ended; however, if your disability continues and your injury continues to disable you, then, your long-term disability benefits will begin. It is that point that one can apply to Social Security. That is why short-term disability is unlikely to result in a successful claim for Social Security benefits.
You need to be aware that even if your disability goes to long-term disability, Social Security usually will deny benefits the first time you apply, so you will need to be diligent. The best thing to know is that you do not get discouraged. You should expect delays in the application, and know that it can take up to two years to gain approval.
A lawyer knows the pitfalls to the application process, and hiring a lawyer will usually get you through the application process quicker than if you try to apply on your own. The main thing to do is keep records of dates, doctors, prescriptions, and phone numbers. Your Social Security is your right that you have paid into, but the process can be daunting that is why hiring a lawyer will keep you organized, and the lawyer will help you navigate the process that will determine if you qualify for benefits as quickly as possible.