Apply For Benefits Online
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you develop a disability. Follow these easy steps to apply online for disability:
- To start your application, go to our Apply for Benefits page, and read and agree to the Terms of Service. Click Next.
- On that page, review the Getting Ready section to make sure you have the information you need to apply.
- Select Start A New Application.
- We will ask a few questions about who is filling out the application.
- You will then sign in to your personal mySocial Security account, or you will be prompted to create one.
- Complete the application.
You can use the online application to apply for disability benefits if you:
- Are age 18 or older.
- Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.
- Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
- Have not been denied for disability in the last 60 days.
Note: If your application was recently denied, our application is a starting point to request a review of the determination we made.
You may be able to file online for SSI at the same time that you file for SSDI benefits. Once you complete the online process described above, a Social Security representative will contact you if we need additional information.
Get Started To Apply For Ssi
Tell us you want to apply for SSI and other benefits or help someone else to do so. This process takes about 5-10 minutes. We ask for basic information:
- Name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the person interested in SSI
- Mailing address, phone number, and email address for the person interested in SSI
- Your name, phone number, and email address if you are helping someone else
After you complete the online process, a Social Security representative schedules an appointment to help you apply for benefits. We will send the appointment date and time by mail within 7-14 business days to the person interested in applying. In some cases, a Social Security representative may call to schedule the appointment.
How To Create Or Access Your Account
Ready to sign up? You can now create your new mySocial Security account through either of these two credential partners: Login.gov or ID.me.
- Login.gov is your one government account for simple, secure, and private access to participating U.S. government agencies.
- ID.me is a single sign-on provider that meets the U.S. governments online identity proofing and authentication requirements.
A credential includes your username, password, and two-step verification factors. A trusted credential partner helps us securely verify your identity online.
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I Want To Sign Up For Only Part A Or Both Part A & Part B
Once youre eligible to sign up for Medicare , you have 2 options:
Once you sign up , youll get a welcome package with your Medicare card.
If you are receiving a Social Security check prior to age 65:
- Social Security automatically enrolls you in Medicare Parts A and B, and
- Social Security mails you a Medicare card.
If you are not receiving a Social Security check:
- You will need to sign up for Medicare in person at a Social Security office or online at ssa.gov/medicare.
Medicare charges a lifetime penalty of 10% for each 12-month period you are eligible for Medicare Part B but do not sign up for it.
The penalty does not apply when you are enrolled in an employer health plan. See Working Past Age 65.
To have your Medicare coverage effective the month you turn 65, sign up as soon as you are eligible.
Medicare Enrollment Can Be Impacted By Social Security Benefits
Depending on your situation, you with either need to enroll in Medicare at age 65 or you may be able to delay. If you continue to work past age 65 and have creditable employer coverage , you can likely delay enrolling in Medicare until you lose that employer coverage. In most cases, people turning 65 will need to get Medicare during their 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to avoid financial penalties for enrolling late. Your IEP begins 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after.
Social Security benefits fit in the Medicare enrollment journey in one special way. If you are receiving either Social Security benefits for retirement or for disability, or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you first become eligible.
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What Happens When You Turn 65
When you turn 65, you essentially lose your entitlement to Medicare based on disability and become entitled based on age. In short, you get another chance to enroll, a second Initial Enrollment Period if you will.6
If you decided not to take Part B when you were eligible for disability under 65, when you do turn 65, youll now be automatically enrolled in Part B. Your Medicare card will then be mailed to you about 3 months before your 65th birthday.
You can also decide during this time to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan. Additionally, once you have Part B, you can enroll in a Medigap plan if you so wish.
Information About Family Members
- Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for benefits and
- Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages, if applicable.
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.
Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance
With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.
If youre eligible at age 65, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.
Note: Important Upcoming Change Rules for 2023 and later: If you accept the automatic enrollment in Medicare Part B or if you sign up during the first three months of your IEP, your coverage will start the month youre first eligible. Beginning January 1, 2023, if you sign up during the month you turn 65 or during the last three months of your IEP, your coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up.
The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2022:
|In 2022, if you sign up during this month of your IEP||Your Part B Medicare coverage starts|
|One to three months before you reach age 65||The month you turn age 65.|
|The month you reach age 65||One month after the month you turn age 65.|
|One month after you reach age 65||Two months after the month of enrollment.|
|Two or three months after you reach age 65||Three months after the month of enrollment.|
The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2023:
What’s The Difference Between Social Security Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Income
While SSDI is an earned benefit based on Social Security taxes you’ve paid in during your career, you can receive SSI payments without ever having worked.
Both SSDI and SSI pay benefits to people that the Social Security Administration determines have physical or mental disabilities severe enough to prevent them from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” for at least a year or that are expected to end in their death.
The Social Security Administration generally uses the same medical criteria to determine if a disability entitles an adult to SSDI or SSI and collecting both benefits is allowed.
SSDI is an earned benefit. As with retirement benefits, it comes from paying Social Security taxes during the course of your employment. In 2022, the estimated average monthly SSDI benefit was $1,358.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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Benefits For Widows Or Widowers With Disabilities
If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets our definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. If they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability
Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a confusing and frustrating experience. There are many forms to fill out, deadlines to meet, and difficulty communicating with the Social Security Administration .
The SSA manages two distinct disability programs: Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income . Participants may be eligible for one program or both, depending on the circumstances. SSD is funded through Federal Insurance Contributions Act deductions from employee paychecks. To qualify for SSD, participants must have worked long enough to be insured for disability. Upon being found disabled, participants may also be eligible for Medicare after approximately 29 months.
SSI is generally for people who have not worked long enough to qualify for SSD, or who qualify for only minimal benefits. It is a federal welfare program and participants must meet financial eligibility criteria to qualify. Under SSI, participants are eligible for Medicaid immediately upon being found disabled.
Applying for SSD is a reasonably easy process and can be done by:
- Going to a local Social Security office
- Filing online at www.ssa.gov. The website is designed to be user-friendly and SSA prefers that applications be filed online
To evaluate a claim, SSA will pull medical records and send the applicant forms to fill out regarding work history, medical condition, and activities of daily living.
Appealing a Denial
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Already Enrolled In Medicare
If you have Medicare, you can get information and services online. Find out how to .
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to sign up for Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B . If you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage, you will also need to complete form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information.
You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period:
- State I want Part B coverage to begin in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
- If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on their behalf and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
- Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
- Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
- Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
- Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
- Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get .
If You Get Social Security Disability Income And Have Medicare
- Youâre considered covered under the health care law and donât have to pay the penalty that people without coverage must pay.
- You canât enroll in a Marketplace plan to replace or supplement your Medicare coverage.
- One exception: If you enrolled in a Marketplace plan before getting Medicare, you can keep your Marketplace plan as supplemental insurance when you enroll in Medicare. But if you do this, youâll lose any premium tax credits and other savings for your Marketplace plan.
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits
Once you have gathered the necessary information, you should contact the SSA to complete a disability application. The actual application can be filled out either at the Social Security office, over the phone or online.
When submitting your application for Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to complete the Social Security Adult Disability Report.
This report contains eleven separate sections and asks for information about your medical conditions, any work activity you may be performing, your education and training, medical treatments you have undergone, medications you are taking and other disability-related information.
Once the SSA receives your application for Social Security Disability benefits and all of the documentation required, they will begin to review your claim. You may, at this point, be asked to go for a consultative exam. This exam is paid for by the SSA.
The purpose of the exam is to evaluate the extent of your disability and whether or not your condition meets the Social Security Disability guidelines. It is very important that you show up for your exam.
Not undergoing the required consultative exam may result in a denial of your Social Security Disability benefits. While the findings of the consultative exam do play a part in the decision the SSA makes in regards to your disability application, statements from your treating physicians and objective medical evidence are given more weight in the determination process.
The Disability Application Process
Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:
- You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information and documents you need to complete the application.
- You complete and submit your application.
- We review your application to make sure you meet our for disability benefits.
- We confirm you worked enough years to qualify.
- We evaluate any current work activities.
- We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
- This state agency makes the disability determination decision.
To learn more about who decides if you have a disability, read our publication .
Once You’ve Applied
Processing time for disability applications vary depending on the nature of the disability, necessary medical evidence or examinations, and applicable quality reviews.
Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed.
Look For Our Response
When the state agency makes a determination on your case, youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. It generally takes three to six months for an initial decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.
Check The Status
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If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
If you receive a check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center that issued it. Only the agency that authorized the payment can explain why you received it.
If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:
If you received payment byelectronic funds transfer , or direct deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.
How Do I Enroll In Medicare
Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to enroll in Medicare or to ask questions about whether you are eligible. You can also visit their web site at www.socialsecurity.gov.
The Medicare.gov Web site also has a tool to help you determine if you are eligibile for Medicare and when you can enroll. It is called the Medicare Eligibility Tool.
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Social Security Disability Benefits
If you have a medical condition that will put you off work for 12 months or longer but is expected to improve eventually, then you have a temporary disability. The benefits you may receive from the SSA would be temporary then too, lasting only as long as you meet the SSAs medical eligibility requirements. In other words, when your qualifying medical condition improves, your benefit eligibility will cease. In the mean time though, you could potentially get the support you need through the SSAs disability programs.