How Do You File for Disability Benefits?


Quick Answer

Apply for disability benefits online through the Social Security Administration's website, or by calling the local Social Security office for an appointment. Once you have submitted your application, a caseworker reviews your file and submitted medical documentation.

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Full Answer

When preparing to apply for disability, gather pertinent information including your Social Security number; proof of age, name, address and phone numbers of the medical professionals who are working with you regarding your disability; the names and dosages of medication you're on; copies of your medical records; test and laboratory results; and your most recent W-2 form or federal tax return if self-employed.

You also need some information regarding your family members, including the name of your spouse and date of marriage, and Social Security numbers and proof of age of all family members who may also qualify for benefits.

After the Social Security Administration has received your application, it provides you with confirmation of your application, either by mail or electronically. From there, the SSA reviews your application and contacts you if additional information is needed. The SSA also informs you if other family members are eligible for benefits. Once the SSA has everything it needs to finish processing the application, it mails you the decision.

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