What Documents Do I Need to Apply for Social Security Disability?

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for Social Security Disability?

documents needed for social security disability

Getting ready to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits but aren’t sure you have all the proper documents? The disability application process can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before, and ensuring that you provide adequate evidence of your disability is crucial to getting approved the first time. Find out more about the documents needed for Social Security disability with this guide from Social Security Disability Advocates USA. 

Personal Information & Family Details

The beginning of the SSDI application will ask for basic personal information and supporting documents about you and your spouse, former spouses, and any unmarried children under the age of 18 (or children between the ages of 18 and 19 who are enrolled in secondary school full-time). Here are the most important documents you’ll need:

  • Your original birth certificate* (or a certified copy)
  • If born outside of the United States, a certificate of citizenship or permanent resident card
  • Your marriage certificate or marriage license
  • Divorce decree for any previous marriages that lasted 10 years or more
  • Your Social Security card
  • The Social Security numbers, birthdates, and living arrangements of any qualifying dependents 
  • Banking information (i.e., your bank account number and routing number so you can enroll in direct deposit)

*If you are unable to provide your birth certificate, the Social Security Administration may also accept certain religious records, such as a baptismal certificate from age five or younger.

Education, Work History, & Military Service

You must also provide basic information about your education and a detailed history of your recent employment. Documents and information you’ll need include:

  • Highest level of education completed, the city/state where the school was located, and the date you left school
  • Any vocational training or trade schools attended, including the date you completed them and the city/state they were located in
  • Copies of W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns from the previous year
  • Employer information or self-employment information for the current year and the past two years (this information can often be found on old pay stubs)
  • The date that your medical condition(s) began to affect your ability to work
  • Types of jobs you had (up to 5 total) in the 15 years prior to your disabling condition
  • Kinds of tasks you were assigned at the job you had the longest
  • Service in the U.S. military, including branch, type of duty, and service period dates
  • Your discharge papers if you were discharged from the military prior to 1968

Workers’ Compensation

If you have received workers’ compensation due to a debilitating injury or illness, documents needed for Social Security disability also include:

  • Your award letter and claim number
  • Your settlement agreement
  • Pay stubs
  • Any other proof you have of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits you’ve received

Photocopies of the above documents are acceptable.

Medical Records & Documentation

Of all the documents needed for Social Security disability, evidence of your debilitating medical condition are some of the most important. Insufficient documentation of an injury or illness is one of the biggest reasons for SSDI claim denials. If you do not have access to or don’t know how to request your medical records or other corroborative documents, a disability benefits lawyer can help you in sourcing this crucial evidence. 

Remember, as a disability claimant it is your responsibility to establish through medical and nonmedical evidence that 1) you have a medically determinable impairment and 2) the severity of your impairment prevents you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Examples of acceptable supporting documentation are listed below.

  • Contact information for doctors, clinics, hospitals, or other medical personnel who have treated you
  • Dates of diagnoses, hospitalizations, doctor’s appointments, procedures, or surgeries
  • Copies of test results and laboratory findings
  • List of all prescription medications you’ve taken for your disability, length of time you’ve been taking the medication, and the efficacy of the medication
  • Copies of medical reports, medical histories, clinical findings, treatment history, and prognoses
  • Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form completed by your primary care doctor or treating physician
  • Statements from nonmedical sources such as an employer, spouse, parent, caregiver, sibling, relative, friend, neighbor, clergy, social welfare agency personnel, counselor, therapist, teacher, etc.

Get Help from a Social Security Disability Lawyer

To get help with applying for Social Security programs, accessing crucial documents, appealing a decision, or just to talk about all your legal options, consider contacting Social Security Disability Advocates USA. We offer free consultations to anyone with questions about disability benefits. There’s no hidden fees and no obligation to utilize our legal services—just quality legal advice from a compassionate and dedicated law firm.

To get in touch with a Social Security disability lawyer, give us a call 24/7 at 602-952-3200. Representatives are also standing by via LiveChat to answer your questions. To request your free case review online now, simply fill out this form

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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