Learn how to apply for social security disability in this easy step-by-step guide. Plus, tips to ensure you get the disability benefits you deserve.
There are several ways an individual can apply for Social Security benefits.
Read on to find out how to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
The 3 Ways to Apply for Social Security Disability
Here are the three ways to apply for Social Security Disability.
1. Apply for Disability Online
You can apply online for Social Security disability benefits. Applying for disability benefits online is the easiest way. Visit the SSA website to apply for disability online.
2. Apply for Disability over the Phone
You can apply for Social Security disability benefits over the phone. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
3. Apply for Disability in Person
You can apply for Social Security disability benefits at your local Social Security office. Call first to make an appointment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some SSA offices accept appointments only. Please visit the Coronavirus page to see if local SSA offices offer in-person appointments. You can also call 800-772-1213 to request an appointment.
How to Apply for Disability Online in 3 Easy Steps
Here is what you need to apply for disability benefits online:
- Review The Disability Starter Kit. The Disability Starter Kit will help you prepare for your disability interview and online application.
- Create Your Personal My Social Security Account. The free and secure My Social Security account provides helpful tools, whether you receive benefits or not.
- Complete the Disability Benefits Application Online.
The Benefits of Applying for Social Security Online
There are many benefits to applying for Social Security benefits online. For example:
- You can start your disability claim immediately. There is no need to wait for an appointment.
- The process is quick and easy. You can submit all required materials online from your home or any convenient location.
- You can stop and return to your saved application before submission.
- Easy access to the Social Security online portal from any device with an internet connection.
- You will have all your Social Security notices in one location. You can also quickly access them.
- You can regularly check for updates and the status of your application.
- Printing documents such as your benefit verification letter and SSA forms is easy.
Evans Disability Can Help You Apply for Benefits
Consult with the knowledgeable and trusted attorneys at Evans Disability to ensure you get the disability benefits you deserve.
Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to ensure you comply with all relevant regulations, guidelines, due dates, financial reviews, and more.
Don’t wait until it is too late! Call Evans Disability today at (855) 503-0101 or schedule a Free Consult.
Social Security Disability FAQ
Frequently asked questions about how to apply for disability benefits.
What Is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income or “SSI” is a Federal program funded by general tax revenues instead of Social Security taxes.
SSI helps people aged 18–65, blind, and disabled with little or no income. It also provides cash for basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Social Security Disability Insurance or “SSDI” pays monthly benefits to workers who cannot work due to a medical condition expected to last a year or result in death.
However, SSDI is only available to those with a work history, insured, and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings. There are no income limits when applying for SSDI.
What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
Both SSI and SSDI disability programs offer benefits for disabled individuals. However, the financial eligibility requirements are different.
The main difference is SSI eligibility depends on your age, disability, and limited income or resources. Conversely, SSDI eligibility depends on your disability and work credits.
When to Apply for Social Security Disability?
You should apply for Security Disability Insurance benefits as soon as you become disabled. SSDI benefits have a five-month waiting period, meaning your benefit payments will begin on the sixth month.
Who Can Apply for Disability Online?
You can apply for disability benefits online if:
- You are age 18 or older
- Not receiving benefits on your Social Security record
- Unable to work because of a medical condition expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
- Have not received Social Security denials in the last 60 days
What Documents Do I Need to Apply for Social Security?
The SSA may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
- Driver’s License or passport
- 15 years past work documentation and proof of income
- W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for last year
- Medical evidence like medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results
- Doctors’ or health care providers’ contact information
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or proof of workers’ compensation benefits
- U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
- Completed Social Security application forms
What Information Do I Need to Apply for Social Security?
We suggest you have the following information to make the application process easier:
Information about you like:
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship
- Social Security number
- Date and place of birth
- Social Security number, date of birth, age, and marriage date of your current spouse
- Names and dates of birth of your children
- Bank name or financial information like your account and routing numbers
Information about your medical condition like:
- Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, and treatment dates for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics
- Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them
- Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who sent you for them
Information about your work like:
- The amount of money earned last year and this year
- The name and address of your employer(s) for this year and last year
- A copy of your Social Security Statement
- The beginning and ending dates of any active U.S. military service
- Up to 5 jobs you had in the last 15 years and the dates you worked at those jobs
- Information about workers’ compensation, black lung, or similar benefits you received
How Long Does It Take To Get Social Security after You Apply?
The approval process can take six weeks or longer.
However, inaccurate information, application denial, court hearings, and other factors can delay the process.
How Can I Check My Disability Application Status Online?
You can check the status of your disability application by logging into your My Social Security account.
What to Do If My Disability Application Is Denied?
If the SSA denies your disability application, do not worry. You can appeal a Social Security denial. However, you have 60 days after receiving the denial notice to request an appeal.
There are four levels of appeal:
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
The attorneys at Evans Disability can help you appeal your denial. It’s critical to discuss your disability benefits denial with an experienced Social Security Attorney to ensure your disability benefits get approved.