Applying For Disability: What Paperwork Do You Need?
When applying for Social Security disability benefits, it’s important to know what kind of documents you’ll need to prepare beforehand so you’re ready when the time comes. The application for benefits needs to be filled out accurately and completely — otherwise, your application will be rejected and you most likely won’t hear back from the SSA. Make sure that you provide everything that is needed for your application to be considered complete, keeping in mind that all documents need to be original unless otherwise specified.
To start, you will need to show your Social Security number, plus the Social Security numbers of your spouse (if applicable) and any of your children who are currently minors. You will also need to provide your birth certificate, which must be original or a certified copy. A religious record from before the age of 5, such as a baptismal certificate, would count instead of a birth certificate in most cases.
Specifically related to your medical condition, you will need to provide contact information for any doctors, hospitals, or treatment centers who have treated you or where you have stayed. You’ll also need to show dates of medical visits and healthcare appointments, information about your current prescription and medical records and lab results that are all related to your disability.
In a more work-related angle, you’ll have to be prepared with a summary of the last five jobs you’ve held — collectively titled your work history — as well as your most recent W-2 earnings statement from each of your employers. If you’re self-employed, tax returns will also work — and you can provide photocopies of these documents instead of originals. If you are a veteran, you should provide your military discharge papers, and if you have filed other disability claims with an insurance company or workers’ compensation, you should provide documentation of these as well.
Finally, be ready with the name and contact information of anyone, such as a friend or relative, who understands their way around Social Security and can help you fill out the application. A disability attorney can help in this situation as well!