If you're like most people, applying for social security disability insurance benefits can be a very confusing process. You're not alone. Here is how you get started:

How Do I Start Applying for Social Security Disability?

The first thing you will need to do is to arrange for an interview with a representative from your local Social Security office.

There are 3 ways you can start to apply for SSDI:

1. By phone

You can do this by making a toll-free phone call by dialing 1-800-772-1213 between 07:00 am and 07:00 p.m, Monday through Friday. You can use this call to arrange for a telephone interview or request for an office interview.

When you schedule a telephone interview, the representative of the SS office will phone you at a scheduled time and ask about the details of your claim.

2. At your local Social Security office

Should you want to make use of an office interview, you can dial the number given above to schedule an appointment with a Social Security representative. On the designated date and time a representative will assist you to record your claim.

It is possible to go to your Social Security office without an appointment. This is not recommended, because you will have to wait until one of the representatives are free to address you and assist you with your application.

3. Online

You can submit your claim online by visiting https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/.

What Types of Information Would I need to Provide?

During your application, apart from standard personal documentation, you will need to supply them with the following information:

  • Certified copy of your original Birth Certificate
  • Documents relating to your last earnings such as last pay slips and W-2 form.
  • List of employers up to 15 years
  • Complete set of medical records
  • A comprehensive list of doctors, hospitals or any other health institutions you received treatment from for your disability with their contact details. 

It is very important to note that not immediately having all the aforementioned documents at your disposal all at once does not prevent you from filing for SSDI.

The Right Time to Apply

The best time to apply is the moment you realize that your medical condition is probably going to prevent you from resuming with your normal day job for a period of 12 months or more.

This is a long process and can last for up to 24 months. Therefore, the sooner you apply, the better it will be. So do not delay.

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Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney