You should file a claim for Social Security benefits if you can't work and it looks as if you won't be able to work for a number of months. Many diseases caused by asbestos get worse with time rather than better. The legal requirement is that you be unable to work for 12 months, but if you are off work now because of an asbestos-related disease, there is a significant chance you won't get back to work in the next year. When in doubt, file a claim. There can be long delays in the Social Security system and you can always withdraw your claim later if your condition improves. If your claim is denied, don't give up; most Social Security claims are denied at first and you can learn what to do after your disability claim is denied from our Raleigh SSDI lawyers. Here's why your Social Security disability claim may have been denied.