If you become disabled and feel that you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it's imperative to complete an application without delay. Holding off for any reason can make it more difficult to receive the benefits you're entitled to.
There are three ways to apply for SSD benefits:
- Complete an application on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website
- Visit your local Social Security office (you can also call this office for assistance)
- Call the SSA
Information you need
Applying for SSD benefits isn't as simple as telling the SSA you're disabled. Instead, you need to provide a variety of information, including:
- Your Social Security number
- Proof of age
- Name and contact information of all doctors and medical staff that have cared for you
- Name and dosage information for all medication you're taking
- Medical records
- Test results
- Lab results
- An overview of your work history, including your employers and professions
- Your most recent W-2 or a copy of your federal tax return
Upon review of your application, the SSA will provide you with an approval or denial letter.
If approved for benefits, you can follow the steps to start receiving payments.
If denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The notice you receive will outline the reason for your denial, as well as the steps you can take to appeal it. You can then appeal your decision online, often by providing additional information to back up your claim.
In the event that the SSA is giving you a difficult time, don't hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. You don't want to miss out on benefits during this difficult time in your life.