In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, either you or Social Security will need to fill out and file a variety of different forms, whether you apply over the phone, in person, or online. The disability forms involved in a typical application for Social Security benefits are:
If you're going to fill out the disability forms yourself, make sure you're using a current version of the form. Each form should have a revision date in the bottom left-hand corner. If the revision date is not within the last year or two, or if you are unsure that you have the correct form, contact your local Social Security office.
Where can you get the disability forms? You should not use forms from anywhere but the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can find the above forms on the SSA's website at www.ssa.gov/forms/.
Yes, you can fill out the forms on paper if you'd like, and drop off the forms at a local SSA field office. If you're printing the information on the forms by hand, take care to make sure your form is neat and legible. If you file online, you don't have to worry about this. You should complete the disability forms using either black or blue ink.
Some Social Security offices will require you to go into the office so that a field representative can record your answers on the application form. These offices will not give you a form to complete at home.
You can have a friend or family member assist you in completing the disability forms, but make sure that all of the questions are answered as if you (the person applying for the disability benefits) were answering the questions. Note that the Adult Disability Report form should be completed by you, not your doctor.
If you'd like professional help with your application, click for a free claim evaluation with a legal expert. An SSDI expert can help you complete your initial application for benefits in a way that is accurate but persuasive. Claimants who complete applications on their own often make mistakes that their attorneys can't undo, from underestimating their physical limitations to overestimating their prior work responsibilities to choosing the wrong disability onset date.
You should be aware that completing Form SSA-827, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration, will give the SSA the right to retrieve all pertinent medical and educational records that may support or deny the validity of your claim for disability benefits. This authorization is a blanket authorization that will help disability examiners evaluate whether or not you still have the ability to perform job-related tasks given your current medical condition. Social Security will not process your claim unless you sign this form.
If you file online for SSDI, you can either print out and send this form in or sign it electronically.
Part of the disability application process is filling out SSA-3368-BK, Adult Disability Report, and SSA-3369-BK, Work History Report.
Be sure to include all details about your prior job duties in the work history section, including how much you were required to walk, stand, sit, lift, and so on.
If you file online, you'll fill out the "Work History Report" and "Adult Disability Report" as part of the main application. For information on filing online, see our article on how to file for disability.
For some people, applying online can be the quickest way to get the disability process started, while others prefer to get help over the phone or in person. For more information, read our article on the easiest way to file for Social Security disability benefits.
Updated February 11, 2022