What Information and Paperwork Do I Need to File for Disability?

Understanding the Social Security Disability Report Form

Woman looking at Social Security paperwork
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Sometimes, your mental health issues may become severe enough that you need to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Complete and well-documented paperwork is the key to the success of your disability application.

The Social Security Disability Report Form

The Social Security Administration's Disability Report Form is the primary form you will need to complete in order to apply for SSDI.

It consists of eleven (11) sections:

  1. Information About the Disabled Person. This includes basic information such as your name and contact information.
  2. Contacts. This section is for information about someone besides your doctor who can be contacted to discuss your medical condition.
  3. Medical Conditions. Here you list all of your physical and/or mental health conditions that affect your ability to work.
  4. Work Activity.  This covers your work history, or lack thereof, and how your condition has affected it.
  5. Education and Training. What grade you have completed and whether or not you have been in special education classes. 
  6. Job History. This section delves into detail about the jobs you' had for the last 15 years before you were unable to work.
  7. Medicines. A list of all medications that you currently take.
  8. Medical Treatment. In this section, you will describe all the medical treatment you've had by a doctor or other health care professional and what types of treatment and/or tests you received.
  1. Other Medical Information. This section covers anyone else that may have or will have medical information about you.
  2. Vocational Rehabilitation, Employment, or Other Support Services. You only fill out this section if you already receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It discusses different programs and support services you may be receiving.
  1. Remarks. This section is for additional information that you did not cover elsewhere in the application.

Information Needed to Fill Out Disability Paperwork

The information needed for this report includes your standard personal information such as name, Social Security number, address, date of birth, etc.

You will also need the contact information for all of your health care providers, including doctors, hospitals and clinics, as well as the dates of your visits. You will need to list the names and doses for all your medications. You'll also need a list of all the places you've worked for the past 15 years. All of this information should be documented in as much detail as possible in order to help ensure your application's success. The more information you provide, the less time it will take to compile and process your application.

Additional Documents You May Need

You will probably be asked to provide some additional documents. You can expect the following to be requested:

  • Birth certificate
  • Medical records you already have in your possession
  • Medical release forms
  • Laboratory and test results
  • A copy of your most recent W-2 Form (Wage and Tax Statement) or, if you are self-employed, your federal tax return for the past year

Understanding Disability Benefits – The Series

  1. I Can’t Hold a Job! What Do I Do? – Introduction
  2. What is Disability?
  3. Do I Qualify for Disability?
  4. Is Bipolar Disorder a Qualified Condition for Disability?
  5. How Do I Start My Disability Application?
  6. What Information and Paperwork Do I Need?
  7. What Happens with My Application?
  8. How Long Will It Take to Get Benefits?
  9. What Benefits Will I Get?

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