How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Application Requirements For Disability - What Do I Need To Start The Claim?

Any individual who wishes to file for disability, through either the Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income disability programs, must, in order to qualify for benefits, be able to meet the social security administration's definition of disability.

The SSA definition states that a person must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment and this impairment must be severe enough to keep them performing substantial gainful work activity for a period of no less than twelve continuous months.

Either that or their impairment must be expected to keep them from performing substantial gainful work activity for twelve continuous months.

Or, finally, their impairment must be severe enough to end in death.

This is essentially the eligibility criteria that must be proven by an individual's medical records in order for them to be considered eligible for disability benefits.

What does an individual need to start their disability claim? Individuals seeking disability benefits can file an application for Social Security Disability online or by contacting their local Social Security office to schedule a disability interview, which can be done either by phone or in person.

Filing online may not be the best option for anyone who wishes to ask questions and have them answered by a live person that they are sitting across from, or speaking to on the phone. Also, currently there is no actual online disability application for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI disability.

Disability applicants who indicate that they wish to file for SSI can provide lead information online but will still have to be contacted by a claims representative at a social security field office before their disability claim can be forwarded to the state disability agency (DDS, or disability determination services) for a medical decision. For this reason alone, it seems to make little sense to try to file a claim online.

Note: SSA has stated that online filing for SSI will be available soon and this may be true by the time you read this.

Additionally, if an individual tries to file their disability claim online, they should make sure that they complete the disability report form online (form SSA-3368), as well as print, sign, and return the medical release form (form SSA-827) to their local Social Security office.

If an individual chooses to file their disability application in person or by phone with Social Security, they should have all of their medical treatment source information, medication, and work history (jobs they have performed in the past fifteen years) ready for their interview.

During the interview, a Social Security claims representative (a CR) will complete their application and disability report form for them. They will also have them sign a medical release form so that once the interview is completed their disability claim will be ready to be sent to the state disability processing agency.

Additionally, the claims representative (CR) will evaluate the disability applicant to determine their eligibility for Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income disability (in other words, which program they are eligible to receive benefits from).

If the disability applicant meets the non-medical requirements and disability criteria for both disability programs, their disability claim will be taken as a concurrent claim; if not, their disability claim will be taken as a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim only.

But no matter what program an individual is eligible for, their medical disability evaluation is the same. Consequently, if an individual is approved they meet the medical criteria of both disability programs.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
Denial by an ALJ at a Disability Hearing
How long does it take a disability judge to make a decision?
How to apply for disability and where to apply
Filing an Application for Disability Benefits under SSD or SSI - Step by Step
Tips on how to file for disability
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
What happens after I file my disability claim with Social Security?
What happens after a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim has been taken and is Pending
If you get denied on a disability application do you have to file a new application?
How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal Under SSDI or SSI is Made
Qualifying for Disability in South Carolina
If you apply for disability in South Carolina
Disability Lawyer in South Carolina

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.