A blue Apply now button is as easy as a guide to social securit disability application

A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for Social Security Disability

Some people might not realize it, but social security disability benefits can provide a great deal of advantages for the eligible applicants. By applying online you can skip scheduling an appointment and start your disability claim immediately, but allowing you to avoid unnecessary trips to local Social Security offices. This can save you a lot of time and money.

Gather the Right Information Before Applying

Before you decide to apply for social security disability benefits, whether in person or online, make sure you have the following information before starting the Disability Benefit Application:

  • A valid Social Security number.
  • An original copy of your birth certificate; if you were born outside of the U.S., you'll need to provide proof of citizenship.
  • For military personnel, an official copy of your service discharge papers.
  • A W-2 from the most recent year you were employed or received income.
  • Direct deposit numbers, from either a checking or savings account. This will allow you to have your benefits deposited into your account automatically. Any information you may have regarding worker's compensation benefits you’ve received should be brought with you as well.

If you need to fill out the Adult Disability Report, make sure you have the following on hand:

  • Contact information and a valid address of someone well-versed in your condition or ailments. This person will serve as a confidant during the claims process.
  • Medical information about your current illness and any pre-conditional ailments that you may have suffered from before starting the claims process.
  • Accurate names and dates of any medical tests that directly correlate with your current illness; include the names of medical professionals who authorized these tests.
  • A current list of any prescribed or over-the-counter medications you may be taking and the medical professional(s) who authorized those prescriptions. These medications do not have to be directly related to any illnesses you're filing a claim for.
  • Official copies of your most up-to-date medical files.
  • A list of up to five jobs, and the dates you worked them, for the last 15 years.

A Step-by-Step Process

Once you've gathered all the required information, following these simple steps will get you on the path to receiving your disability benefits:

  1. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov; select the “Apply online for disability benefits" option.
  2. Fill out the Disability Benefit Application.
  3. Answer the questions on the Adult Disability Report.
  4. Mail or take the documents to your nearest Social Security office.

Though this may seem like a great deal of work to applying for disability benefits, following these steps will ensure that both you and your claims handler will be on the same page when it comes to getting you the help you need.

For more information, or to obtain any copies of essential documents, you can visit the official Social Security website.

Last Updated: June 16, 2014