What Items Are Needed to Apply for Social Security Disability?

by Linda Richard ; Updated July 27, 2017

Social Security disability requires work history with sufficient credits for qualification. No one needs more than 10 years or 40 credits, and you may need less. The number of credits you need depends partially on your age, and if you are under age 31, you do not have to have ten years of work history. Once you determine whether you meet the work history requirements, assemble the information needed for application for Social Security disability.

Basic Information

Social Security needs your Social Security number, along with the Social Security numbers of your dependents. You need proof of age for yourself and your dependents. This will require certified copies of birth certificates that the Social Security office will return to you after copying. You also need a certified or original copy of your marriage certificate, if you are married. Your bank routing number and checking account number are necessary for direct deposit of your disability benefits.

Medical Information

Assemble a list of all doctors, caseworkers, hospitals and clinics that have cared for you as a result of your disability. You need the dates of your visits and the length of any stays. If you have any medical records from your physicians or hospital stays, you will need to add those to your documentation. Include laboratory tests and results. List the names and dosages of all medications you are taking, or copy the labels.

Employment Information

Summarize all the employment positions you have held and dates of employment for each. If you are self-employed or have recently been self-employed, you will need your most recent federal income tax return. Otherwise, provide your most recent W-2 form. If you were in the military, you need your discharge papers or DD-214. If you have filed worker’s compensation or insurance claims in the past, Social Security needs the name and address of the insurer, claim number and approximate date of the claims.


Social Security disability requires two different applications. One form is the Application for Benefits; the other is the Adult Disability Report Form. The disability report form is online, and includes overview, identification, medical, work/education, remarks and review sections. You can work on the form and save it to return later to submit. This form has full instructions with examples. You may start your disability application online as well. Social Security needs your authorization to collect medical information about you, so you will need to sign the medical authorization form. Mail or deliver this form to your Social Security office.

About the Author

Linda Richard has been a legal writer and antiques appraiser for more than 25 years, and has been writing online for more than 12 years. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in English and business administration. She has operated a small business for more than 20 years. She and her husband enjoy remodeling old houses and are currently working on a 1970s home.