The Initial Application Stage

A Social Security application can be completed in a number of ways:

  • Online;
  • Over the telephone; or
  • In person at your local Social Security office.

When applying for benefits, you will need the following information:

  • Your name and address;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • A birth certificate or baptismal certificate;
  • The names and addresses of your doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that have treated you. If possible, have the dates of your doctor visits.
  • The names and doses of your medications;
  • Copies of any medical records or medical test results you may have;
  • The names and addresses of your former employers;
  • A copy of your most recent W-2, or federal tax return.

You will also have to complete a series of forms, and sign a release, allowing Social Security to get information from your doctors.

Make sure to answer all of Social Security's questions truthfully and honestly. It is also important that you give Social Security a complete list of your treating doctors and medical conditions. Many Social Security claims are denied because the claimant did not provide full and accurate information. It is also important Social Security always has your correct address and phone number.

After you complete your application and forms, the state DDS agency will review your claim. The agency will evaluate your medical records and the information you have given Social Security. DDS may ask you for more information, or send you out to an examination. It is important that you comply with these requests.

Once a review of your file has been made, Social Security will issue a written decision. If you do not agree with this decision, you do have the right to appeal.