How Do I Begin the Process of Applying for Social Security Disability?

To begin the application process for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to complete and submit three important forms to the Social Security Administration: the Social Security Benefit Application, the Adult Disability Report, and the Authorization to Disclose Medical Records. The Social Security Benefit Application is the primary form for submitting your claim, the Adult Disability Report gathers information related to your disability, and the Authorization to Disclose Medical Records allows the Social Security Administration to obtain your medical records from healthcare providers.

You have the option to complete these forms online at or in person by scheduling an appointment and calling the Social Security Administration office at 1-800-772-1213.

To ensure a smooth and timely processing of your disability application, it’s recommended that you gather the following information and documents before starting the application process, regardless of whether you choose to apply online or in person:

  1. The name, address, and phone number of each doctor or facility where you received medical treatment, along with the dates of treatment and your patient ID number.
  2. Copies of all medical records pertaining to your injury or illness, including lab reports and test results.
  3. A list of all prescribed medications and the medical providers who prescribed them.
  4. Details of your work history, including up to five jobs held in the last 15 years, such as employer name, address, phone number, position held, dates of employment, and rate of pay.
  5. Your most recent W–2 wage statement (or last year’s tax return if self-employed) and any records of current year-to-date earnings.
  6. Your Social Security number.
  7. The Social Security numbers of your spouse and children, if applicable.
  8. Military discharge papers, if you have served in the military.
  9. Your checking or savings account number and bank routing number for direct deposit of your benefits.

For further information, you can visit our Social Security Disability Self Help page.