How do you apply for Social Security disability benefits?


Quick Answer

Apply for Social Security disability benefits by checking your eligibility, completing the application and providing necessary documentation. Make your application online on the official Social Security website, by phone or in person at a Social Security office after making an appointment.

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Full Answer

  1. Assess your eligibility

    Apply for Social Security disability benefits if you are at least 18 years old, you are not receiving benefits, you cannot work due to a medical problem that is expected to last at least a year or until death, and a previous application has not been turned down within the last 60 days.

  2. Complete an application

    To complete an application for Social Security disability benefits, provide personal information, your Social Security number, your bank's routing number and your bank account number. You also need contact information for someone aware of your medical condition, details of your medical condition and treatment, details on your military service and employment during the previous 15 years, and information on any worker's compensation you have or plan to file for.

  3. Provide documentation

    Provide documents to prove your eligibility, including a birth certificate or another document proving birth, verification of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status, tax documents from the previous year, medical papers such as doctor's reports and medical records, and proof of compensation benefits you receive. Originals are required for all documents except tax and medical records. Either mail the documents or take them in person to a Social Security office. The documents are returned to you after examination.

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