How Can I See If I am Eligible for Social Security Disability?

If you have worked for long enough in recent years while paying Social Security taxes on your earnings, and now have a disability preventing you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. SSDI benefits will help you with financial aid while you cannot work due to your injury, illness, or other disabling condition.

Some people don’t think they’ll qualify for Social Security disability benefits because their disability is temporary. However, just because an injury or other condition will eventually heal or resolve itself doesn’t mean it’s any less disabling while you’re experiencing it. Suppose you have a condition preventing you from working and are likely to continue for at least a year or so. In that case, it’s probably a good idea to start looking into your medical eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance or any other benefits you might be entitled to.

To check if you qualify, you can contact the Social Security Administration or their representatives and start filling out an online application for these benefits.

Where Can I Get Disability Forms?

The easiest way for most people to get their social security disability application forms ready and sent in is probably to apply online. There are a few caveats to this approach, so make sure that you meet the requirements that they list on the website before you try applying for any sort of disability benefit online:

  • You must be at least 18 years old

  • You must not be currently receiving Social Security disability income

  • You are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months (or will result in death)

  • You have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. (If you have already been denied benefits recently, the website offers an appeal process in which you can begin to request that your case be reviewed.) 

If you meet all of these requirements, applying online is an option that’s open for you! If for some reason, you are unable to apply online, you can also apply over the phone (1-800-772-1213) or in person.

What Should I Know Before Applying?

The SS form on the Social Security website recommends that disability applicants to provide the following information when applying for Social Security benefits:

  • Your Social Security number

  • Your spouse’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number, if you are currently married, along with the same information for any former spouses.

  • Dates and places of any current and past marriages, and dates for when any past marriages ended.

  • Information about your children (mainly their names and whether they are disabled).

  • If you had a child younger than 3 living with you during any calendar year when you earned no money. 

  • If you provided at least half of the support for a parent when you became disabled.

  • Name of your employer(s) and how much you have earned from them in the last couple of years.

  • Information about any money you have or expect to receive from an employer since your disability made you unable to work.

  • The date on which you became unable to work because of your illness, injury, or other condition(s)

  • Information about any other workers’ comp or benefits you have filed or will file for.

  • Any unsatisfied criminal warrants you may have. 

  • Some form of documentation & contact information will show your account number at a bank or financial institution if you would like to set up direct deposit of any disability insurance benefits. This is recommended to avoid potential theft or delays of physical checks. 

It’s also recommended that you have the following documents (or copies of them) available:

  • Your birth certificate

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were born outside the U.S.

  • W-2 and/or self-employment tax returns for the previous year

  • Medical evidence, including medical records, test results, and any disability report from your doctor, help with a disability determination.

  • (If applicable) Any proof of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits which you have received

  • (If applicable) U.S. military discharge papers if you served in the military before 1968.

Check this checklist for any additional details.

Where Can I Get Help?

The disability application process can be intimidating for some people, especially if you’ve never had to deal with anything like this before. It’s normal to need some guidance as you’re approaching this process, especially if you want to ensure that you are receiving as many SSDI benefits as possible and not delay the process with any mistakes or misunderstandings. That’s why we’re here to help.

Trajector helps people with disabilities access the SSDI benefits they need. They describe their services as “bringing clarity and confidence to an otherwise frustrating and emotional process.” If you’ve encountered difficulties getting your benefits or are unsure where to start with all of these different processes and forms, consider getting in touch with Trajector to get professionals on your side.