When Should I Apply For Benefits?
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Processing an application for disability benefits can take three to five months. To apply for disability benefits, you’ll need to complete an application for Social Security benefits.
What Do I Need?
- Your Social Security number
- Your birth or baptismal certificate
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of the doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that took care of you, and dates of your visits
- Names and dosage of all the medicine you take
- 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
- A copy of your most recent W-2 Form (Wage and Tax Statement) or, if you’re self-employed, your federal tax returns for the past year
In addition to the basic application for disability benefits,you’ll also need to fill out other forms. One form collects information about your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. Other forms give doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals who have treated you, permission to send us information about your medical condition.
Don’t delay applying for benefits if you can’t get all of this information together quickly.