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How do I start the SSDI application?

Many claimants want to know how to start their SSDI application. First, you must figure out how to navigate the application process and apply for SSDI benefits. The first step is to contact the Social Security Administration and complete an SSDI application. You can do this in three ways:

• Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 and request they send you the SSDI application in the mail.
• Visit the Social Security Administration online at and start the SSDI application online.
• Visit a Social Security Administration Regional Office and have the SSA representative help you finish the SSDI application. The nearest SSA Office can be found by visiting the SSA website office locator page. Enter your zip code and the closest office in your area will be listed.

Whether or not you choose to visit in person with a SSA representative or apply for SSDI  online will most likely depend on how much help you need with your SSDI application and if you consider yourself computer savvy enough to navigate the online SSDI registration process. If you feel like you need a little extra help, the best thing to do is call the SSA and schedule a meeting with a SSA representative.

The representative will not complete the SSDI application for you. Millions of claimants apply each year for SSDI and SSI benefits, and SSA workers simply do not have the time to fill out everyone’s SSDI application. They may be able to answer a few questions and make sure you are on the right track.

What documents do I need to complete the SSDI application process?

According to the Social Security Administration’s website (, you will need to gather all of the following records and documents to complete the Social Security Disability Insurance program:

• Your work records for the last fifteen years and your last day worked
• Prescription information, including, names, dosage amount and prescribing doctors
• The names, phone numbers and addresses of all of your doctors
• Your Social Security Administration
• A Valid birth certificate
• Marriage and dependent information
• Public benefit information
• General information about your disability
• W-2 tax forms

Do I have to gather my own medical records for my SSDI application?

Many claimants want to know if they have to request their own medical records for their SSDI application. No, the SSA has the responsibility to gather your medical records so they can evaluate your SSDI claim. You will, however, have to provide information about all of your treating sources such as your doctor’s name, address and phone numbers and dates of treatment.

Keep in mind gathering medical records is one of the most time-consuming aspects of evaluating your SSDI claim so if you have copies of your most recent medical records you can expedite your claim by making copies and giving them directly to the SSA for their review.

After you have completed your application for SSDI the SSA estimates that you should receive an answer from them within 90 to 120 days.
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