What You Need to Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits

If you are seeking disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are probably wondering what you need to apply. Fortunately, for the most part, you can probably find most of what you need at home, or with a bit of research. Here are five things you should have on hand when you begin applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

  1. Your birth certificate (and proof of citizenship/legal status, if necessary)
    • The first piece of essential documentation you will need is your birth certificate, or any equivalent document that can prove your identity and birth date. If you are an immigrant, you will also need proof of being a naturalized citizen or any other legal immigrant status. Without this documentation, you will be stopped before you have even gotten started on your application.
  2. W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for the past year
    • An important component of your disability application is determining your economic status. That means producing your W-2 forms, which you should be able to get from your employer, or any self-employment tax returns you did in the previous year. This will give them a full picture of your economic status and whether SSDI or SSI benefits would be appropriate for you.
  3. An adult disability report
    • Along with everything else, you should bring along a filled out copy of Form SSA-3368-BK, also known as an adult disability report. This report details a significant amount of information about any medical conditions you suffer and the effect it has had on your life. It also asks a number of other important questions that will be essential for determining whether you are qualified for SSDI or SSI benefits.
  4. Medical evidence of your disability
    • Filling out a form describing your disabilities is not enough. You should also, if possible, obtain any medical evidence of your disabilities. This includes medical records, doctor’s reports, and any recent test results conducted with respect to your medical condition. While this is not conclusive on its own, it will help to demonstrate to the SSA that you have a genuine disability that is being treated by professional medical staff.
  5. Evidence of workers’ compensation benefits, if any
    • This is only applicable if your disability was a result of being injured on the job, but you should bring any evidence you have from workers’ compensation benefits you have received. This will help provide additional evidence that the SSA can use for your disability claim. However, if you are still uncertain about what you need for your application, you should contact a Social Security disability lawyer who can help you through the process.


The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting people with disabilities obtain the benefits they deserve. Our New York disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.

3 thoughts on “What You Need to Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits”

  1. Thanks for pointing out that evidence of workers’ compensation benefits will help provide additional evidence that the SSA can use for our disability claim. My husband has been disabled since last year due to a car accident. We are hoping to find a disability attorney on Monday who can help him with his disability claims.

  2. Thank you for reminding us that when looking to claim for workers’ compensation, it is best that we ensure we have evidence to support our claim. The other day my friend mentioned that he intends to apply for workers’ compensation. I will remind him to ensure he has ample evidence to help strengthen his claim.

  3. I appreciated it when you shared that you can try contacting a Social Security disability lawyer who can help you through the process if you are still unsure about what you need for the application. My friend just mentioned the other day that she is planning to apply for SSD claims on behalf of her sister who is dealing with a disability. I will suggest to her hire a reliable lawyer who can help with the process.

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