How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance

social security disability application process

In order to be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must first complete the Social Security disability application process. Applying for benefits can be a long and arduous ordeal with many roadblocks along the way. Learn what you need to know about applying for SSDI benefits from Social Security Disability Advocates USA

Choosing Your Application Method

Disability benefit applications are collected and processed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA provides three ways for people to apply for benefits:

  • In Person. Applicants can apply for benefits in person at their local Social Security office by making an appointment. (Please note that during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Social Security Offices remain closed.)
  • By Phone. A representative with the SSA can help you complete an application over the phone. You can schedule a phone interview by calling 1-800-772-1213. In person and phone applications will take at least one hour to complete.
  • Online. Applying for SSDI benefits online is by far the most convenient and quickest way to complete your application. The online application can be found at

Collecting Necessary Documentation

Before you can begin the Social Security disability application process, you must first gather all the necessary and pertinent documents related to your disability. It is important to have as many of these records available before you begin in order to qualify for SSDI.

Personal Information

The application will ask for your name, place of birth, social security number, and contact information, including your place of residence, mailing address, phone number, and alternative contact information in the event that the SSA is unable to reach you.

Banking Information

The SSA will ask for your bank account type and number in addition to your bank routing number. The SSA will use this information to direct deposit your monthly benefits should your application for SSDI be accepted.

Family Details

If you are married or have ever been married, you will need proof of your marriage or divorce, including the name of your spouse, their social security number, and where the marriage occurred. Information regarding prior spouses is only required if the marriage lasted more than 10 years or ended in the death of the spouse.

If you have children under the age of 18 who are not married, the SSA will require their name and social security numbers in order for them to receive benefits. Children between the ages of 18 and 19 who are enrolled in secondary school full-time may also be entitled to benefits.

Education & Work History

The application will ask about your highest level of education, including any degrees or vocational training received. 

You should also have access to your most recent W-2 and the details of any jobs you have held over the past two years, including your start and end dates and total wages. In addition, you will need information for the past five job types you worked in the 15 years before you became disabled, including the types of duties assigned to you in these jobs.

If you served in the U.S military, you should include the type of duty, branch, and service beginning and end dates.

Workers’ Compensation

If you have received workers’ compensation due to a debilitating injury, be sure to locate your settlement agreement, claim number, and proof of any payments awarded to you.

Medical Records

Gather any documents you have regarding all of your diagnosed disabilities (this includes physical disabilities as well as emotional and learning problems) that significantly reduce your ability to work.

You should also know the names of doctors, therapists, emergency rooms, clinics, and hospitals that have treated you for your condition. Records of any medical tests or procedures you have had should also be included.

The SSA will also want to know any and all medications you take for your medical conditions, how long you have been taking them, and who prescribes them to you. If you are unable to procure any of these medical records on your own, a social security lawyer may be able to assist you in requesting them.

Submitting Your Application

If you have chosen to file your application in person, you should receive a letter in the mail with the date and time of your appointment at your local Social Security office. At your appointment, an SSA representative will interview you and complete an Adult Disability Report. 

If you’ve decided to apply over the phone, you will receive a phone call from an SSA representative at your scheduled interview time. The process is very similar to an in-person interview.

If you apply online, all you have to do is fill out the online questionnaire and submit it for review.  Regardless of how you apply, it generally takes between 3 and 5 months for the Social Security Administration to review and either approve or deny your claim.

Appealing the SSA’s Decision

A major reason why the Social Security disability application process is so frustrating is because in addition to having to wait a significant amount of time to find out if you’ve been approved, it is very common for the SSA to deny first-time applicants. 

Luckily, there is a way to help prevent getting your disability claim denied. By consulting a qualified and experienced social security disability attorney, you can help ensure that your initial application contains all the proof you need to establish your right to SSDI benefits.

When you work with the caring legal team at Social Security Disability Advocates USA, you’ll also have access to around the clock support if your claim is denied. The SSA appeals process is notoriously difficult to navigate on your own. Having us on your side means you can get the best outcome as quickly as possible. 

Protect your family and your financial future. To find out more about getting representation for your SSDI claim, call us today at 602-952-3200. Our no obligation initial consultations are free. You can also contact us by sending us a message through our secure contact form or by chatting with a representative via LiveChat. 

For more information about Social Security programs and the ultimate disability secrets the SSA doesn’t want you to know, check out our blog.

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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