How to file a claim for SSDI or SSI

Don't wait to file your claim for disability payments even if you don't have all this information.

Who to contact

If you think you may be eligible for payments, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to file a claim, or contact your local Social Security Office. You must contact the Social Security Administration to apply for benefits. If you are looking for an online application for either SSDI or SSI visit For an update on case status call the Vocational Disability Examiner (VDE) as identified in your introductory claimant letter

If you want someone to help you such as a family member, caseworker or other representative, that person may contact Social Security for you.

You will get a faster decision if you give us:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers
  • Laboratory and test results
  • Names, address, phone and fax numbers of your doctors, clinics and hospitals
  • Names of all medications you are taking
  • Names of your employers and job duties for the last 15 years

If you are filing for a child, you also need school records regarding your child's disability.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't wait to file your claim for disability payments even if you don't have all this information.

Find the Social Security Office closest to you.

Evidence Required by DDS For Case Documentation

Medical Information

Vocational Information, if necessary that includes

  • A history of all work performed in the 15 years prior to determination
  • A description of the physical demands and skill requirements for each job
  • Educational history

When all required medical and vocational information is received, the disability examiner and staff physician and/or psychologist carefully evaluate each claim, using a sequential evaluation process.

Sources of Information

The following people or agencies can help supply the information that is needed to process a claim for disability benefits.

  • Treating Physicians and Psychologists
  • Clinic and Hospital records
  • School records (IEP, IQ evaluations, etc.)
  • Consultative Examinations authorized by the DDS
    - by panel physicians and psychologists
    - by attending physicians and psychologists
  • Non-physician health care professionals
  • Observations by friends, relatives, acquaintances.