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Claims for disability benefits take more time to process than other types of Social Security claims -- from 3 to 5 months.

You can help shorten the process by having certain information and documents with you when you apply, and by helping us get any other medical evidence you need to show that you are disabled. Here is the kind of information you should have:

Information About You:

  • Your Social Security number and proof of your age;

  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that took care of you and the dates of your visits;

  • Names and dosages of all the medications you are taking;

  • Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers, that you already have in your possession;

  • Laboratory and test results;

  • A summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did; and

  • Your most recent W-2 form or, if you were self-employed, a copy of your federal tax return.

Information About Family Members:

  • Social Security numbers and proof of age for each person applying for benefits; and

  • Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages if applicable.

IMPORTANT: The documents you need to show us must be original documents or copies certified by the issuing office. You can mail or bring them to Social Security. We will make photocopies and return your original documents.

If you don't have all the documents you need, don't delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.

When You Are Ready to Apply

In addition to the Application for Benefits, you will need to complete an Adult Disability Report Form (SSA-3368) which collects information about your disability and your work history. Both the Application for Benefits and the Adult Disability Report Form can be completed online. Help in completing the required forms is also available online.

More Help For Filing Your Claim

Our Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Starter kits are available in English or Spanish for adults and children under age 18.

To help you understand the medical information we need to decide if you are disabled, you also may use our self help guide.

Go to the next page to find out what to do if your application is denied.



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Last reviewed or modified Tuesday Jul 22, 2008
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