In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, Social Security will fill out and file a variety of different forms for you, whether you apply over the phone, in person, or online. The forms involved in a typical application for disability benefits are:
If you are filling out the form yourself, make sure you are 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. Forms should be completed using either black or blue ink, and if you are 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 (online filing is available only for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, not SSI benefits).
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 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.
You should be aware that completing Form SSA-827 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 is a blanket authorization that will help examiners evaluate whether or not you still have the ability to perform job-related tasks given your current medical condition. If you file online for SSDI, you can either print out and send this form in or sign it electronically.
Also, if you file for online, you'll fill out the "Work History Report" and "Adult Disability Report" as part of the main application. Be sure to include all details about your prior job duties on the work history section, including how much you were required to walk, stand, sit, lift and so on. For information on filing online, see our article on how to file for disability or straight to the SSA's online application page.