Applying for Social Security disability is a process. Like anything involving the government, there is a lot of paperwork required. If you want to file for disability benefits, you need to become familiar with the process. Any missteps could result in a denied claim even if you are otherwise eligible.
The Social Security Administration advises you to ensure they meet all the requirements for Social Security disability before applying. Requirements include meeting work hours and contributions to the SS system. In addition, only specific conditions are covered by this type of Social Security benefit. You need to do a complete check of the medical requirements you must meet, along with ensuring you meet the minimum disability definition, which is rather strict.
The SSA also wants you to have all the required information. This includes all personal identification information, medical records and earnings records. Only originals or certified copies are accepted, so you should plan ahead to ensure you can provide them. However, if you cannot get documents and you feel you qualify for the benefits, you can still apply, and the SSA will help you to get the documentation you need.
Applications can be completed online or on the phone. You may also apply in person at a local office. It is important to apply as soon as you get your disabled diagnosis. You can get benefits even if you reach retirement age, but they will be turned into retirement benefits. Typically, you can receive benefits until you are able to work again. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.