If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. You will need to submit an application for benefits and should do so as soon as you can once you know your disability will keep you from working.
The Social Security Administration explains that it can take months before your application makes it through the approval process, so you will not get benefits right away. In addition, you need to maintain communication with the SSA and supply all the information it requests to ensure your application keeps moving through the process. The SSA can help you gather information if you cannot get it yourself.
Applying for benefits
You can apply online or over the phone. To apply over the phone, you must first call and make an appointment for someone to call you back and take your claim. Filing online is the quicker option because you can submit your application right away and not have to wait for an appointment.
Gathering the information
Regardless of how you apply for benefits, you will need to gather some information to complete the application correctly and completely. The SSA will need information about you, such as your birth certificate, address and names. It will want information about your work history, including former employers, dates worked and total income from each job.
You will provide financial information, such as tax returns, W-2 forms and banking information. Finally, you have to supply information about your disability and the medical care you are under. You will have to have your medical providers complete forms that you must return to the SSA.