How To Apply For Social Security Disability
Whether youre applying for benefits online or submitting an application through the mail, your process will begin at ssa.gov/disabilityssi. There, youll find basic information about applying and links to the application and documentation checklist.
You may generally complete your application online if:
- Youre 18 years of age or older
- Youre not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
- Youre unable to work due to a medical condition and the disability has lasted or is expected to last for more than a year and
- You have not been denied benefits within the past 60 days.
Youll be asked to submit information about several areas of your life and history, including:
- Work history and/or self-employment information
- Information about your medical condition
- Contact information for your physicians
- Medication information
- Banking information and
- Educational history.
While much of this information is straightforward and clear, its important that these forms are completed carefully and correctly, and that you provide all relevant information. Failure to provide thorough information may delay your claim, or even result in denial.
Once youve submitted your application and documentation, the SSA will either process your application and advise you of its decision by mail, or will contact you to request further information.
The Parts Of Medicare
Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare .
- Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility . Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
- Medicare Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.
Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
- Supplemental policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
- Medicare Advantage Plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental bundled together in one plan.
- Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.
Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medical hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can enroll in Medicare medical insurance by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read .
Already Enrolled In Medicare
If you have Medicare, you can get information and services online. Find out how to .
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to enroll in Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B . If you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage, you will also need to complete form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information.
You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period:
- State I want Part B coverage to begin in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
- If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employers signature and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
- Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
- Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
- Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
- Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
- Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get .
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How To Apply For Spousal Social Security Benefits
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow’s legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 35,113 times.
If you are married or divorced and nearing retirement age, you may be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits. Spousal benefits allow you to get up to 50 percent of the total benefits your spouse is eligible for without taking away from their benefits. If you’re eligible for your own retirement benefits, you’ll get those first. However, if your spouse was in the workforce longer than you or made more money, spousal benefits could add to the overall benefits you receive. You apply for spousal Social Security benefits the same way you claim your own retirement benefits.XResearch source
How To Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
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Get Ssa Benefits While Living Abroad
U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.
Apply For Survivors Benefits
You should notify us immediately when a person dies. However, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online.
In most cases, the funeral home will report the persons death to us. You should give the funeral home the deceased persons Social Security number if you want them to make the report.
If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 . You can speak to a Social Security representative between 8:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Social Security Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.
If you are not getting benefits
If you are not getting benefits, you should apply for survivors benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive.
If you are getting benefits
If you are getting benefits on your spouse’s or parent’s record:
- You generally will not need to file an application for survivors benefits.
- We’ll automatically change any monthly benefits you receive to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death.
- We may be able to pay the automatically.
If you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record:
- You will need to apply for the survivors benefits.
- We will check to see whether you can get a higher benefit as a widow or widower.
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Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
Do You Need A Lawyer To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
The short answer is no youre not required to retain an attorney to assist you with your application for Social Security Disability. However, there are some good reasons you may want to consider working with an attorney from the beginning:
- An experienced Social Security Disability attorney will know exactly how to assemble your application and documentation to ensure that the process isnt held up by technical errors or omissions.
- Most initial applications for Social Security Disability benefits are denied, requiring the claimant to appeal before actually receiving benefits. An attorney who has worked with you from the initial application will be in the best position to assist you as the process becomes increasingly complicated.
- If youre adapting to a new or worsening medical condition that has rendered you unable to work, you dont need the added stress of managing the details of the application and appeals process. When you leave that in the hands of an experienced professional, you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.
Perhaps the best reason to consider working with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney is this: statistics show that claimants who have legal representation at Social Security Disability appeals hearings are significantly more likely to be approved. Why not give yourself the best possible chance?
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What You Need For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
You will get a faster decision when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income with the Social Security Administration if you provide:
- Your Social Security number
- Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers
- Laboratory and test results
- Names, addresses, phone and fax numbers of your doctors, clinics and hospitals
- Names of all medications you are taking
- Names of your employers and job duties for the last 15 years
If you are applying for a child, you also need school records regarding your child’s disability.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t wait to file your claim for disability payments even if you don’t have all this information.
If you think you may be eligible for payments, call 772-1213 to file a claim or contact your local Social Security Office . You must contact the Social Security Administration to apply for benefits. If you are looking for an online application for either SSDI or SSI visit ssa.gov. For an update on case status call the Vocational Disability Examiner as identified in your introductory claimant letter
Documents You Need To Apply
Please select the benefit you will be applying for from the list below to see what information and documents you may need when you apply:
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay applying for Social Security benefits.
In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you. If we can’t verify your information online, we can still help you get the information you need.
Mailing Your Documents
If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.
How To Apply Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
The Disability Application Process
Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:
- You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
- You complete and submit your application.
- We review your application to make sure you meet some for disability benefits.
- We check whether you worked enough years to qualify.
- We evaluate any current work activities.
- We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
- This State agency makes the disability determination decision.
To learn more about who decides if you are disabled, read our publication .
Once You’ve Applied
Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed
Look For Our Response
Youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.
Check The Status
You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Appeal A Decision
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What We Will Ask You
If the worker is deceased, we will also ask you:
- The worker’s date of birth and his or her name at birth
- The worker’s date of death and the place of death
- The State or foreign country of the worker’s fixed permanent residence at the time of death
- Whether the worker was unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions at any time during the 14 months before his or her death.
- Whether the worker was in the active military service before 1968 or ever worked for the railroad industry.
- Whether the worker earned Social Security credits under another country’s Social Security system
- Whether the worker was employed or self-employed in all years from 1978 through last year
- How much the worker earned in the year of death and the year before death
- Whether the worker ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income. and
- Whether each child was living with the worker at the time of death.
Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions.
You also should have with you your checkbook or other papers that show your account number at a bank, credit union or other financial institution so you can sign up for Direct Deposit, and avoid worries about lost or stolen checks and mail delays.
The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
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How To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
On the surface, applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a simple process. Youll be required to complete an application form and provide certain supporting materials from a checklist provided by the Social Security Administration . You can even apply by telephone, and some adults can apply for disability benefits online.
Calculate The Best Time To Start Social Security
If you are confused about when to start, you can use the Social Security Explorer part of the NewRetirement Retirement Planner to compare your monthly income and maximum lifetime payout at different ages.
Or, you might consider the following rules of thumb:
- Take Early: The only people who should consider taking their Social Security early are those who absolutely need the money immediately, or those who do not expect to live for very long, due to illness
- Take at Full Retirement Age: Should you have reason to believe that you will not live past the age of 80, then generally speaking you will maximize your social security benefits if you take them when you reach your Full Retirement Age.
- Wait as Long as Possible: On the other hand, if you are confident that you will live past the age of 80 or 85, then most experts recommend that you defer your social security for as long as you can , so as to maximize the benefits you receive from it.
- Other: If you have dependent children, the additional benefits you receive for them might make filing when you are younger worthwhile.
It can also be a very good idea to have an overall retirement plan before you decide when to start your Social Security benefits. The NewRetirement Retirement Planner can help you assess all of your sources of retirement income and whether or not you will have enough to cover your expenses. This tool was recently named a best retirement calculator by the American Association of Individual Investors .
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