If you can no longer sustain employment due to severe, medically-determinable impairments that have lasted for a year or can be expected to last for a year or more, you may be thinking about applying for Social Security benefits (“SSDI” or “Title II”). Initial applications are filed online now. You start with http://www.ssa.gov and follow the instructions to “apply for disability.” This involves doing the short the application, followed by the much longer Disability Report. It can take about 1-1/2 hours to complete. Here are some helpful hints.
Before you begin, assemble the following information and have it handy: (1) The “date of onset” of the disability – this is the date when you were no longer employed earning more than about $1,040 gross per month (this amount varies a bit from year to year), and you were medically “disabled;” (2) List of employers & jobs in your last 15 years; (3) Names of all of your medical doctors and other treatment providers, with full contact information; (4) All of the medications you currently are taking; (5) complete list of the medical conditions you have that interfere with your ability to work; (6) checking account information; (7) immediate family member information – names, birthdates, social security numbers. Other questions are asked as well, but having all of this at your fingertips will make it easier for you to complete the application and the disability report.