How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
When ready, you can apply by completing your application online.
Need assistance or more information? Call 1-800-772-1213 toll-free
If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, simply call the toll-free telephone number at 1-800-325-0778.
You can find a Social Security office near you by visiting the Social Security Administration (SSA) website. Go to www.ssa.gov for more information. If you’d like to apply in-person, call your local office to make an appointment prior to you visit.
If you’re looking to help someone else apply, you can do that too. Visit the SSA’s page on Helping Someone Apply Online to learn more.
Before you apply, ensure you have all the information you need. It is advised that you bring additional documents, in case the ones you have are inaccurate or incomplete. You should always have the most updated information available.
What information you need
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at your records closely. They will require a significant amount of information to make a determination on your claim. Thus, you will need to provide a variety of personal and family Information. This is information used to verify your identity, medical history, place of residence, family members, and other information.
You should come prepared with:
- Your birth certificate
- Your ID or Driver’s License
- Your Social Security Number (SSN)
- The full contact information of doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and other medical professionals and locations; this includes the dates you visited these places
- Full information on the medicines you use, including dosages and names
- Your latest personal medical records
- Tests results from labs
- Your employment and work information
- Your latest W-2 form or federal tax return
- The SSNs and birth information of your family members
- Proof of marriage(s)
Make sure that you have the original forms of these documents. The SSA will not keep them. You will receive your paperwork back once photocopies are made. You can either mail the documents or bring them in-person at your local SSA office.
If you are struggling to obtain certain documents, a disability attorney can assist.
Additional Help in Filing Your Claim
If you go online, you can prepare for the interview and application easily. The Social Security Disability Starter Kit lets you know about everything you need. You can also check out the Application for Benefits, which will link to additional information for completing the form.
If Your Application Is Denied
After your application is reviewed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), it may be determined that you do not qualify for disability benefits.
If you disagree with this decision, you have the right to ask the Social Security Office to look at your application again. When you are rejected, your notice will tell you how to appeal. The notice will also tell you how long you have to make the request.
Oftentimes, you can appeal the decision online.
The online disability report will ask for updated medical information. This includes the latest tests, treatments and doctor appointments, after the determination was made.
When online, simply search for the link: Appeal Medical Decision
If you did not qualify for non-medical reasons, you can also appeal. In this case, go online and click on the link for: Appeal Other Decision
You can always call the Social Security toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appeal. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call, 1-800-325-0778.
It is important to remember that there are two types of programs. You can qualify for either SSDI or SSI. In some cases, people qualify for both. If you do not have enough work credits to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This benefits program requires that you have limited income and resources.
If you have any questions at all, contact an experienced disability attorney today.