Application Process

There are three primary methods for applying:

  1. Online. The applicant must setup to check on the status of an application,
  2. Call the national wide call center and to set up a telephone appointment or an office appointment, or
  3. Visit your local office (field office (FO)).  If you live abroad, one can usually go to the U.S. Embassy/consulate (

Required information and proofs.

  1. Information About the Applicant.
    • Your name, SSN, date of birth, and place of birth.
    • Maritial status (single, married, divorced, widow(er)). The name, SSN, date of birth of your current spouse and any former spouse.
    • Your minor children (before age 18): Their names, SSN, and dates of birth. Publication: EN-05-10085
    • Disabled adult child (onset date before age 22): Their names, SSN, and dates of birth.
    • Direct deposit information: (1) Financial institution’s Routing Transit Number (RTN) and the account number or (2) Request Direct Express debit card
  2. Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries or conditions:
    • Your name, SSN, date of birth, and place of birth.
    • Maritial status (single, married, divorced, widow(er)). The name, SSN, date of birth of your current spouse and any
    • Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals and clinics;
    • Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them; and
    • Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who sent you for them.
  3. Your Work as an Employee or Self-Employed.
    • Your gross earnings (net earnings if self-employed) for last year and this year
    • The name and address of your employer(s) for this year and last year
    • A copy of your Social Security Statement (applicant “must” verified)
    • The beginning and ending dates of any active U.S. military service you had before 1968 (submit DD-214).
    • A list of the jobs (up to 5) that you had in the 15 years before you became unable to work and the dates you worked at those jobs
      • Information about any workers’ compensation, black lung, and/or similar benefits you filed, or intend to file for. These benefits can:
      • Be temporary or permanent in nature;
      • Include annuities and lump sum payments that you received in the past;
      • Be paid by your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier, private agencies, or Federal, State or other government or public agencies; and
        Be referred to as:
        Workers’ Compensation;
        Black Lung Benefits;
        Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation;
        Civil Service (Disability) Retirement;
        Federal Employees’ Retirement;
        Federal Employees’ Compensation;
        State or local government disability insurance benefits; or
        Disability benefits from the military (This includes military retirement pensions based on disability but not Veterans’ Administration (VA) benefits.)
  4. Proofs, “orignial” documents only; photo copies are not acceptable. Should be mailed or delivery to local Social Security office.
    • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States;
    • U.S. military discharge paper(DD-214) if you had military service before 1968;
    • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year;
    • Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results; and
    • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received.

IMPORTANT: If lost certain documents could be difficult or may be impossible to replace. You or your representative should bring such documents to a Social Security office where we will examine them and return them to you immediately.

Workers’ compensation (WC) or certain public disability benefits (PDB) paid by federal, state, or local governments (example: California SSDI) – see separate discussion.
Publication: EN-05-10018. Form SSA-546



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