Filing for Social Security Disability

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has improved the process for filing a Social Security Disability application. In the past, if you needed to find how to apply for social security disability you would have to call the SSA, request a Social Security Disability application, schedule an interview to file disability and wait for your disability appointment.

All of these options are still available, but you can now file for disability online. Whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) it can all be done electronically via the internet.


Steps for Applying for Disability Benefits Online

File disability online easily
-Visit the Social Security Administration's website (www.ssa.gov) and follow these 5 easy steps on filing disability.

  1. Click the Apply for Disability Benefits Link
  2. Review the Adult Disability Checklist for details about what you will need before starting the online process
  3. Fill out the online Disability Benefit Application to provide the Social Security Administration with information regarding eligibility for payment
  4. Fill out the online Adult Disability Report to provide the Social Security Administration with medical and work history
  5. Fill out, sign, and mail the Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration or take it to the nearest Social Security Administration office.

There are advantages to applying for social security benefits online, not only will you not have to wait for an SSA appointment, you can begin your Social Security Disability application immediately and find out if you meet qualifications faster.

You can file disability online if you are age 18 years or older, you have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you live in the United States or one of their territories, and your mental or physical health condition is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or end in death.

Steps for Applying for Disability Benefits in Person or via Telephone

  • Learn how to file disability by telephone or field office. Call the Social Security Administration's toll-free telephone number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to make an appointment.
  • Filing disability in person by visiting your local Social Security office.

What information will you need to file your Social Security Disability Application?

The Social Security Administration has listed the information you will need to see how to apply and file disability on their Adult Disability Checklist. This document should be reviewed prior to beginning the disability process, and all of the required information should be gathered. To try and receive benefits faster, prior to applying for Social Security Disability, you will need the following information:

  • Medical records already in your possession. The Social Security Administration is responsible for gathering all of your medical records, but if you have any medical records already in your possession, these should be copied and given to the Social Security Administration.
  • Workers' Compensation documentation. If you are receiving workers' compensation this can affect your Social Security Disability benefits. The SSA will need information about your settlement, including your date of injury, the workers' compensation claim number, the agreement and the proof of other disability awarded payments.
  • Information about all of your divorces and marriages.
  • The names and Social Security numbers of your children and your spouse and their birthdates.
  • All of your financial information, including the saving and checking account numbers. If you would like your Social Security Disability check to be directly deposited into your savings or checking account you will have to provide your bank's 9 digit routing number.
  • Additional contact names of friends or family members in case they cannot contact you
  • Names and phone numbers of all of the doctors, nurses, hospitals, chiropractors or any other medical professional who has treated you for your mental or physical health condition. The SSA will also need the approximate dates of service.
  • A list of all the prescription medications you are currently taking.
  • Work history information including your current and past job positions, the years worked and the job requirements for each job.
  • Original or certified copy of your birth certificate or proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency if foreign born
  • Form DD 214, if discharged from military service
  • W-2 form or income tax return from last year
  • Proof of military pay

Expediting the Social Security Disability Application Process

Is there really anything you can do to expedite or speed up the Social Security disability determination process? The Social Security Administration has implemented several programs which can help claimants who have applied for disability. For instance, military service members may receive expedited disability claim processing if they become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurred.

What can you do if you were not in the military or if your condition is not considered so severe that it immediately meets a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments? The SSA provides several suggestions to ensure that your Social Security Disability application will be processed as soon as possible.

  • Notify the SSA immediately if there are changes in your medical care.
  • Notify the SSA immediately if you move to a new location while the SSA is processing your Social Security Disability application.
  • Provide accurate information for all of your medical sources.
  • Let the SSA know if your disability occurred while you were in active military duty.