What Type of Documentation Do You Need to Provide When Applying for Social Security Disability?

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

The disability application process can feel both endless and overwhelming. Disability benefits, however, can be critically important to those feeling the force of financial impact that can come with being disabled or having a family member with a disability. The Social Security disability programs can help provide much-needed financial support each month to help ensure an individual or family can provide for basic needs.

Proper documentation, however, can be the difference between having your disability benefits application approved or denied. Providing the Social Security Administration with the right information they need to effectively process your claim is of central importance. While the documentation you will need when you apply for benefits will slightly vary depending on both your personal situation as well as the dynamic of your family, much of the documentation is consistently requested. Here, we will go into more detail as to what documentation you can be expected to submit when applying for Social Security disability.

What Type of Documentation Do You Need to Provide When Applying for Social Security Disability?

You can expect, of course, to supply documentation regarding proof of your identity. Like other government agencies, the SSA is particularly sensitive to those efforts made by some trying to defraud the government into being granted benefits under a stolen identity. Thus, you should be prepared to provide your original birth certificate, not a copy. You will also be asked to provide a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license as well as W-2 forms, or 1099 forms if you work as an independent contractor.

As your disabling condition goes to the very heart of your benefits application, you will need to provide extensive medical documentation. When applying, it can be very helpful to have already gathered as many of your medical records as possible. The SSA will require significant detailing of your medical history. You will need to provide the SSA with a medical release Form SSA-827. This form is titled Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration. You will also need to provide the names and contact information of your doctors and other treating medical professionals.

The application forms will ask for details regarding your medical condition(s), such as formal name(s), dates in which you received a diagnosis, any medications you take for your condition, and any treatments you have received for your condition(s), including the dates and locations of any surgeries, tests, or other procedures you may have undergone for your condition. Furthermore, a statement from your doctor detailing your condition and its impacts can also be a helpful element of your disability application. A statement from your friends, family, or social workers may also be helpful. You will need to provide the names and contact information of these individuals.

The SSA will also be interested in both your work and education history. This means you may need to access documentation to ascertain details regarding your work history and the duties involved as well as regarding your formal education and any other job training you may have received. Past pay stubs and other work documents can be helpful in providing you with the names and contact information for former employers as well as your previously held job titles and pay information. You will also need to provide financial documentation, especially if you are applying for SSI benefits.

Long Beach Social Security Disability Attorney

If this seems like an extensive amount of documentation, you are correct. The SSA requires a great deal of documentation to support your disability claim prior to approval. Disability Advocates Group can assist you with this often overwhelming process. Contact us today.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.