How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability And What Information Do I Need for my Application?
This guide sets out the information you need to provide and how to apply for Social Security disability.
Apply for Social Security As Soon As PossibleOnce you have made the decision to apply for Social Security disability, you will want to complete the application as soon as possible to shorten your wait to receive benefits after you are approved for disability.
Create Your my Social Security Account Before Starting the Disability ApplicationCreate your my Social Security account first before you begin your disability application. If try to start the disability application first, Social Security will prompt you to create your account before you work on your disability application.To create your account, you answer a series of identity questions for verification. You must also have a:
• Social Security number
• Valid email address
• U.S. mailing address
You must also be at least 18 years old to create an account. You can only create an account using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use.
With your account, you will be able to review your earnings record to make sure it is accurate, and you will be able to check on the status of your disability claim after you complete your application.
Information You Need To Complete The Disability ApplicationThe information you need to complete the disability application is detailed. Gather the documents necessary to help provide information about yourself, your immediate family, your medical condition, and your work. To get an idea of what information you will need, use the Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application https://www.ssa.gov/hlp/radr/10/ovw001-checklist.pdf. You may also want to review information in the Adult Disability Disability Starter Kit provided by Social Security at https://www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits_adult_eng.htm.
Begin by gathering your tax return, W2s, paystubs, marriage license, form DD 214 for military service, and other important documents to refer to as you work through the application. For background, here are a few of the questions you will be asked:
• Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
• Your address, and telephone.
• The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You will be asked about the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death (if appropriate).
• Names and dates of birth of your minor children.
You will also be asked for your bank’s routing transit number and your bank account
number that you will use for Direct Deposit if you are approved for disability benefits.
Educational information on the application includes the highest grade you completed in school and the name of the last school you attended. You will be asked whether you were in special education at school. You will also be asked if you have completed any vocational or trade school education.
To answer questions about your work, begin by making a list of your employers with the months and years you worked. You can refer to your earnings record found in your my Social Security account, as well as your tax information, pay stubs, or W2s. The application asks for your employment history covering the last 5 jobs you have had in the 15 years prior to the date you stopped working. You will be asked if your impairments are related to work and if you have received workers compensation. If you are self-employed, you will be asked for information pertaining to that work. You will also be asked if you or your spouse have worked outside of the United States.
Also, pull together any medical information you already have at home, such as treatment notes, diagnostic test results, emergency department summaries and hospital records. Use these documents to write a list of all of your diagnosed physical and mental conditions. You can also use these records and your pill bottles to make a list of all your prescribed medications and non-prescription medications you regularly take. Make another list of any laboratory or diagnostic testing you have had along with the place where the testing was performed and the dates. You will also need to refer to this medical information for a list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of treating sources, hospitals and other medical sources where you have had or are continuing to have treatment. You will need to provide the month and year you began treatment and the month and year you were last treated.
Apply for Social Security Disability OnlineYou can apply online for SSDI or both SSDI and SSI disability benefits. You cannot apply for SSI only disability online. To start your application for disability, go to the Social Security website’s Apply for Benefits page. Read and agree to the Terms of Service and then click “Next”. Review the “Getting Ready” section to once again confirm you have the information you need to apply. Select “Start A New Application” and follow the prompts to enter the application information.
After you provide some basic background information about yourself and if there is anyone who is helping you fill out the application, you can get a “re-entry” number so that you will be able to save and exit and then later on use the re-entry number to re-access the application.
As you work through the application, you answer the questions on each page and select “next”, or you select any of the tabs at the top of the application page to move to another section. A green check mark means you have provided all the necessary information in that section. A yellow triangle means that you still need to provide more information in that section.
Once you complete the online process, a Social Security representative will contact you by mail or phone for additional information.
Other Ways To Apply For Social Security DisabilityIf you cannot submit your application online, you still can apply by contacting Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). In the past, you could go to the local Social Security office to submit your application in-person, but due to COVID, in-person visits have been significantly restricted.
Contact a Disability Lawyer for HelpIf you need help applying for disability, contact a disability lawyer at Cardea Law Group, LLC. We have a free consultation. When we represent you, we will work with you to complete the application for disability and other necessary forms. In addition, we show our commitment by providing you with information, guidance, and support at every step. Call us at 334-440-6261.