Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an important safety net for people who suffer from a disability that is expected to last at least one year or that will result in their death. If you are wondering how to apply for Social Security disability, first understand that you will need to gather quite a bit of paperwork. Helpfully, the Social Security Administration has compiled a list of documents you need for applying, which we summarize below.

Personal Information

You need to establish your identity to receive SSDI benefits. You also need to prove you are not an undocumented migrant. For example, you will need:

  • Your birth certificate or any other proof of birth
  • Proof you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful alien (such as a green card)
  • U.S. military discharge papers (if you were in the military before 1968)

You can order a copy of your birth certificate with the VitalChek website or else contact the Washington State Department of Health. Although you can use photocopies of other documents, SSA needs to see originals of your birth certificate and other personal information.

Employment Information

SSA will want to see information about your income. You can bring:

  • W-2 forms
  • Proof of self-employment, such as your tax return for the prior year

Self-employed individuals can still qualify for SSDI, since they pay self-employment tax. If you can’t find the forms you need, speak to your company’s Human Resources office or talk to your accountant. You can submit a photocopy of these documents.

Proof of Other Benefits

You might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits because of your injury. SSA will want to see information about this. You can submit any settlement agreement, award letters, or proof of workers’ compensation benefits (temporary or permanent).

Medical Information

Whether a person qualifies for SSDI usually turns on how disabled they are. SSA will want information about your medical condition. You should provide copies of all medical evidence you currently have in your possession, such as:

  • Recent test results
  • Doctor’s reports
  • Medical records

Of course, your condition could worsen over time. For this reason, you should have the most current medical information available so SSA can carefully assess your disability.

You also need a completed adult disability report. This report requests substantial information about you, such as your medical conditions, work activities, education, training and job history. An attorney can be very helpful at filling out this report completely and accurately.

Contact a Tacoma Social Security Disability Attorney Today

Disabilities change lives. They also can add considerable stress if you cannot return to work. Many of our clients contact us with concerns that they will not be able to pay their bills or support themselves now that they are injured.

Fortunately, SSDI benefits can make up some of the lost income our clients suffer. If you have a question about how to apply for Social Security disability, please reach out to Alliance Law Group today. We can review your situation and analyze whether you are likely to receive benefits. We can also help you with the application process or with an appeal.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.