Applying for Social Security Disability or SSI

When Do I Apply For Social Security Disability?

You should apply as you become disabled. It can take a long time to process an application for disability benefits. It can take up to six months at each of the disability application and appeal levels. The wait for a hearing has grown and currently averages right around a year.

How Do I Apply?

To apply for disability benefits, you will need to complete an application for Social Security Benefits and the Disability Report. You can apply either online at, by calling the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or by calling or stopping by your local Social Security field office.

What Do I Need?

To complete the application, you should gather the following information:

  • your Social Security number;
  • your birth certificate or other evidence of your date of birth;
  • your military discharge papers, if you were in the military service;
  • your spouse’s birth certificate and Social Security number if he or she is applying for benefits;
  • your children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers if they are applying for benefits;
  • your checking or savings account information, so your benefits can be directly deposited;
  • names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, clinics, and institutions that treated you and dates of treatment;
  • names of all medications you are taking;
  • any medical records you have from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers;
  • a summary of where you worked in the past 15 years;
  • a copy of your W-2 Form, or if you are self-employed, your federal tax return for the past year;
  • dates of prior marriages if your spouse is applying.

D not delay filing for benefits just because you do not have all of the information you need. The Social Security office will be glad to help you.

If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income benefits you also need the following:

  • information about the home where you live, such as your mortgage or your lease and landlord’s name;
  • payroll slips;
  • bank books;
  • insurance policies;
  • car registration;
  • burial fund records;
  • and other information about your income and the things you own.

If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout Tennessee.




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