How to Apply for Social Security Disability

Most of us can’t afford to work, but when a disability prevents you from performing your job, it’s important to find a supplemental form of income. If you were injured on the job or can’t work due to a chronic condition, Social Security disability payments might be able to help you cover the cost of your living expenses.

A Brief History of Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration was founded in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The purpose of the administration is to offer retirement, disability and survivor benefits to qualifying Americans. The annual budget is approximately $1.06 trillion; disability payments range anywhere from $400 to $1,000 a month.

Who pays for Social Security benefits?

The Social Security Administration administers disability benefits. Funding comes primarily from taxpayers. There are some additional sources of financing for the General Fund and net interest, but for the most part, U.S. payroll taxes are responsible for disability and similar benefits.

Are you eligible?

There are two types of disability benefits: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSI is a need-based program, while SSDI is experience-based. You can get disability and apply for SSI regardless of your previous work history, but to qualify for SSDI, you must have worked a certain amount of time before your disability, similar to retirement benefits.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits

To qualify for benefits, you first must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disabled.” According to the SSA’s official website, a disability has or is expected to last for one year or is expected to result in death and leaves you unable to work your old job or adjust to a new field of work.

To apply, you must meet the qualifying criteria and submit an online application. You can also call 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office to apply in person.

Find More Information

The following resources will help you learn more about Social Security disability benefits including eligibility requirements, the application progress, and limitations. Find your nearest Social Security Office to get more information about all the benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.