Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

disabled woman with carer in gardenMany people think that disability is something that happens to someone else. Unfortunately, disability is unpredictable and can happen to any person, at any age. Millions of Americans live with disabilities. Disability affects those afflicted and their families.

Social Security’s disability program provides medical and financial support to disabled individuals and their families in a time of need. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability. We pay benefits to people with a severe medical condition that prevents them from performing substantial work, and expected to last at least one year or result in death. Social Security does not pay benefits for partial disability or short-term disability.

We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The SSDI program provides benefits to disabled or blind people who worked and contributed to the Social Security trust fund as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The SSI program makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled people who have limited income and resources. SSI benefit payments do not come from the Social Security trust fund.

You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. To apply for disability benefits, you will need to complete an application for Social Security benefits. You can apply online. When you visit our website, select “Apply for Benefits,” and follow the link to get a Disability Starter Kit. This kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. If we find you’re eligible for Social Security disability benefits, there’s a five-month waiting period before we can begin your benefits. Applying for benefits as soon as you become disabled will allow for benefits to start sooner.

You can also call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), to make an appointment to apply for benefits at your local Social Security office or to set up an appointment for someone to take your claim over the telephone.

When disability strikes, Social Security is there providing financial support to people when they need it most.

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651 thoughts on “Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

  1. I am 66 years old, had a stroke 10 years ago, and cannot control my left limbs, is presently getting my regular old age benefits, can I apply for low income supplement?

  2. Have started the paperwork to receive disability .Filed it in June and returned paperwork sent to me.Is there a way I can check on the status of my application

  3. Hello i have a 7yrs son who has had asthma his whole life real badd always in and out the hospital i do not and cannot get his ssc or num? I was recently incarcerated came on jan. He needs to be signed up

    • Hi Kia, thanks for using our blog. SSI makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are 65 or older, or blind, or disabled. Your child, if younger than age 18, can qualify if they have a medical condition or combination of conditions that meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if the child’s income and resources fall within the eligibility limits. Check out the publication Benefits for Children with Disabilities for more details.

      If you would like to apply for your child, you can call us call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

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