Deciding to File for SSDI

Living with a physical or mental disability can greatly limit or restrict a person’s ability to work, thus leaving them unable to earn a sufficient living.

If you are unable to work because of a debilitating condition, there are two federal programs available, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), that you can potentially qualify for.

These programs help those who are unable to work due to an ongoing condition by providing them with monetary benefits.

To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, you must be able to prove that your condition is disabling, and has lasted for 12 months or longer- or, that the condition is likely to result in death.


Information Needed to Apply

If you decide to apply for social security disability benefits, make sure you have the following documents and information readily available:

  • Names and birthdates of any minor children and spouse
  • Dates of any and all marriages and divorces
  • If applicable, military services discharge information for all periods on active duty
  • Previous year’s federal income statements (W-2 or 1040)
  • If you are opting for direct deposit of benefit checks, your bank account and bank routing numbers


And, for your disability report, you will need the following:

  • Name and phone number for a reference that can speak to a Social Security Administration (SSA) representative regarding your medical condition(s)
  • Treatment dates, patient ID numbers, names, and contact information of all your relevant medical service providers (also gather any and all of your relevant medical records)
  • List of prescription medications you are currently taking, as well as the name of the prescribing doctor
  • Dates of relevant medical tests, as well as names of referring doctors
  • List providing the past 15 years worth of all jobs, prior to your disability or condition (up to five jobs total)
  • If applicable, information about any workers’ compensation claims or insurance claims you have filed (you will need the claim number and name, and contact info of insurance company)


Applying for Social Security Disability Online

After you have gathered all of the applicable information, medical evidence, and documents, you may start the SSDI or SSI application process to file your disability claim.

The SSA encourages that applicants apply online for SSDI and SSI benefits, eliminating the need for the applicant to schedule an appointment.

The online application consists of the following three sections:

  1. Disability Benefit Application: This is the first step of the application process, and will take anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes to complete. This portion allows the applicant to save their information as they go along, and return to later to finish if they choose to do so.
  2. Adult Disability Report: This portion of the application can take up to 90 minutes to finish, and also allows the applicant to save their information and return to complete at a later time.
  3. Authorization to Disclose Personal Information Form (PDF): The applicant will need to print this form, fill it out, sign it, and mail it to their nearest Social Security Office.

If an applicant is looking to file for benefits on behalf of a disabled child, that can be completed in a similar process here.


Applying for SSDI Benefits In-Person or by Telephone

If you are unable to complete the SSA’s online application form or choose not to do so, you may also call 1-800-772-1213 (TDY 1-800-325-0778 for the hearing impaired). You can also schedule an appointment at your local Social Security Office.

At your appointment, you may be asked to show the following documents in order to prove your eligibility for benefits:

  • Original birth certificate (not a copy) or equivalent proof of birth
  • If applicable, naturalization documents
  • If applicable, U.S. armed forces discharge documents
  • Completed Disability Report (PDF)
  • Completed Authorization to Disclose Information Form (PDF)
  • Previous year’s W-2, 1040, or other tax forms


Need Help Filing Your SSDI Claim? An SSDI Attorney Can Help

When filing for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, it is important that you completely understand the entire process ahead of you. That is why it is highly recommended that you seek an experienced SSDI attorney for help with your disability application.

The law firm of Saffren & Weinberg has extensive experience in Social Security Disability Insurance cases and can be a great asset to your SSDI case. Contact the lawyers of Saffren & Weinberg today at (215) 309-9577 for a free consultation with a disability lawyer.