Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Filing your claim for disability benefits

  1. How to file for disability
    So how do you file your application for disability benefits? Social Security has a couple of ways to file disability applications.

  2. Tips for how to file for disability
    How can you help make your disability interview go smoothly? The most important tip is that you should be prepared. In-person disability interviews can take ninety minutes or more depending upon how prepared an individual is.

  3. Where do I go to file for disability?
    Technically speaking, you do not actually have to go anywhere to file a social security disability application. If you are unable to visit a social security field office, or just do not feel comfortable going to an office, you can apply for disability by phone or in some cases online.

  4. For what medical conditions can you file for disability?
    If your physical or mental condition prevents you from being able to work, you should file a Social Security disability claim.

  5. Who handles my case if I apply for Social Security disability?
    When your disability case arrives at the state disability agency (DDS or disability determination services), it is assigned to a disability examiner.

  6. What to bring when you file for disability
    Tip: Since the information contained in the medical records will provide the core basis for any decision made on your case, it is advisable that you write this information down prior to your disability interview.

  7. What Happens During A Social Security Disability Interview?
    For the purposes of this question, we are addressing what happens during a phone or in-person disability interview that is conducted through a local Social Security office (related: What to bring to a disability interview).

  8. What happens if You Miss Your Social Security Disability Application Appointment?
    If you miss your Social Security disability application appointment, Social Security will send you what is known as a closeout letter.

  9. Filing for disability online or over the phone
    If you choose a telephone appointment or office appointment, a claims representative will take your application for both programs and complete your disability report form for you.

  10. Who Do I Contact To File For Disability
    If you choose an in-person interview with your local Social Security office, then your applications, disability report form, and medical release form will be completed during the interview.

  11. When should you File for Disability benefits with the social security administration?
    You should consider filing for disability if your medical condition interferes with your ability to perform work activity. This includes the jobs you have done in the past and, potentially, other forms of work for which your job skills, training, and education may suit you.

  12. What happens after I file my disability claim with Social Security?
    After you file your Social Security disability claim at a local social security field office, you will begin the disability “waiting” game.

  13. How long does it take to get disability benefits?
    There is no clear-cut answer to this question, because each person’s disability claim, whether it is filed under the Social Security Disability or SSI disability program, has it own unique set of medical facts.

  14. Filing for SSI Benefits
    Social Security does offer an online filing process. However, this is for title 2 Social Security Disability benefits only. SSA does not currently offer an online SSI disability application process.

  15. Should I apply for social Security disability or SSI?
    If you have not earned enough to qualify for Social Security disability or you are no longer insured for Social Security disability, you may be able to apply and receive disability benefits through the SSI disability program. While the SSI disability program is not based on work activity or insured status, it has its own eligibility requirements.

  16. What Is The Difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
    The Social Security Administration manages both SSI and Social Security disability, so, naturally, there are many similarities between the two programs.

  17. Filing for disability when you have a mental condition
    You may apply for disability on the basis of any mental condition, including but certainly not limited to the following: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, memory loss, or any other type of cognitive or mood disorder.

  18. If Social Security Turns Down My Case Can I apply For Disability A Second Time?
    It is far more advantageous for an individual to file an appeal of the denial of their disability case than to file another new disability claim.

  19. If you get denied on a disability application do you have to file a new application?
    Should you immediately file a new application if your current application is denied? In nearly all cases no. You should file a request for reconsideration, the first appeal.

  20. What is the Difference Between Filing A New Disability Claim And Filing A Disability Appeal?
    The most important reason to file an appeal versus filing a new disability claim is that an individual’s chances of being approved for disability benefits are much better if they use the disability appeal process.

  21. What Forms will I need to Complete when I apply for disability?
    The forms used by social security are designed to collect information about your medical condition, work history, when your condition began and when it became disabling (for adults, "disabling" is considered to be the time that your condition was severe enough that you could no longer work so you will need to supply this date, or approximatge date), and your activities of daily living.

  22. What is The Difference Between The Social Security Disability Application And The Disability Report Form?
    You cannot have a disability claim without an application, nor can you have a disability claim without the disability report form. It takes an application, a completed disability report form, and a signed medical release form to complete a Social Security disability claim.

  23. What happens if you are working when you file for disability or after you apply for disability?
    Individuals who have already been approved for disability benefits should be very careful about returning to work activity as this has the potential for terminating their monthly benefits.

  24. What if you make too much when you apply for disability?
    Technical denials may be given when a person is working and earning too much when they apply for disability, or when they lack insured status for social security disability (have not paid enough into the system to qualify), or have too much income or assets to qualify for SSI disability.

  25. Can You Apply For Disability Benefits When You Lose Your Job?
    A person who has been laid off from a job who has a disabling physical impairment or mental impairment might find themselves suddenly unemployable and in the position of applying for SSD benefits.

    Additional pages

    Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
    Get your medical history information in order. Disability claims are ultimately decided on medical records.

    Social Security Disability Advice for Filing
    You can help speed up the process if you follow this advice for filing for social security disability benefits.

    Always list every one of your medical conditions, physical or mental, when you file for disability
    Individuals who file for disability are advised to list every single one of their conditions at the time of their application. Leaving just one of your conditions off your disability application could make the difference between winning or losing a claim.

    When You Apply For Disability, write Down Everything That Is Wrong With You
    The simplest way to explain the importance of mentioning everything that is wrong with you is that you have no way of knowing how any of your conditions may help win your disability benefits for you.

    Should you get a Disability Lawyer before you File for Disability?
    The answer, as we pointed out, is often no. However, there are cases in which early representation is a good option. And there are individuals who will clearly have an advantage in being represented from the very moment that their case begins.

    Financial Help When You Are Filing For Disability
    You may already be experiencing a loss of earnings as a result of your condition, or be facing calls from bill collection agencies, or even the prospect of losing your home.

    SSI Benefits - who is Eligible and How do I file for them?
    Since Supplemental Security Income is based upon need, you will need to bring in information about your income and resources.

    Can You Apply For Disability Benefits When You Lose Your Job?
    Individuals with significant health problems jobs should consider filing for Social Security disability if they have lose their job and are totally unable to perform substantial work activity.

    How long does it take to hear an answer after filing for disability?
    How long it takes after filing for disability will depend on a variety of factors. When it takes longer to receive a decision on a claim, however, it is generally due to one of the following reasons, or a combination of them.

    What Happens When You File A Second Social Security Disability Claim?
    If you did not appeal your initial disability claim denial, here is some advice: If your initial disability claim is denied, the best course to take is to file an appeal. The chances are, if your initial disability claim is denied that you are unlikely to be approved on multiple initial disability claims.

    How do you get an SSI disability application and Claim started?
    Ideally, the best way to get an SSI disability claim started, or to get a social security disability application started, is to contact a local social security office and request that an appointment be made.

    Crucial Information about the Social Security Disability Application Process and SSI
    Individuals who have insured status will be eligible to file for social security disability; whereas individuals who are not covered for this program, or who are no longer covered (yes, you can lose your insured status for SSDI if you have not worked for quite some time) must file for SSI.

    How Do I Apply For Disability - What Is The First Step?
    You apply for both disability programs simultaneously. If you meet the non-disability requirements for both, your disability claim will be sent as a concurrent claim.

    What Are The Steps To Applying For Disability Benefits from Social Security?
    Assuming you make less than the SGA amount each month, your next question should be, do I have a solid medical history (and ideally this means medical records from your treating physician) that backs up my claim for disability?

    The Steps of The Social Security Disability Determination Process
    Social Security uses the same medical determination process for both SSI and SSD. The evaluation process is known as the five-step sequential evaluation process.

    What is protective filing?
    Protective filing dates may allow an individual to have an earlier application date than the actual signed application date.

    Can I Collect Unemployment While I File For Disability Benefits (SSD or SSI)?
    If you apply for disability with the Social Security Administration you are alleging that not only are you unable to do any of your past work, but you are not able to perform any other kind of substantial work activity as well.

    If you are applying for Social Security disability when does Medicare start?
    Medicare based upon Social Security disability will begin two years after the first date that you are entitled to receive a Social Security disability benefit. What does this mean?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria