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Do you know how to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits? Are you wondering what is the best way to apply? If so, we have some answers. If you have access to the internet, then you should apply online at Social Security’s website. Applying online is easy. The SSA website will walk you through the SSD application process.

Before you apply for SSDI or Supplemental Security Income benefits, make sure you have the information you need.  Prepare in advance. You will need your personal information. For example, you will need your Social Security number. You will also need to tell the SSA the day you were born and what city you were born in.

If you are married or divorced, you will need those dates as well. Likewise, you will need the names of your parents. Also, if you have children, you will need their names and their dates of birth.


Additionally, you will need to give your bank account information to the SSA. If you do not have a bank account, this should not stop you from filing an application for benefits. You can leave that part of the application blank. Then, you can give the SSA your bank account information at a later time.

When you apply for SSD benefits, you will also need to provide a list of your doctors. You should include, along with their names, a list of their addresses and phone numbers. The reason you need to give this information is so the SSA can collect your medical records. Your medical records prove to the SSA that you cannot work due to your physical and mental conditions. Without medical records, you cannot win benefits. If you need help finding a free or low cost doctor, then we have resources on our free and low cost health care page.

The SSA will ask you for a list of the jobs you have had for the past 15 years.  If you have worked full time, for longer than 3 months at any job, then you will need to give that information to the SSA. If you don’t write it down when you apply, then they will ask you for it later. The SSA cannot make a decision in your case unless you give them your work history.

You may also need to provide a copy of your birth certificate. Or, if you have become a citizen of the U.S., then you will need your official paperwork to submit along with your application.  Don’t let the lack of some of this information prevent you from filing for benefits.

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When filing an application for SSD benefits online, you will be asked to choose the date that your disability began.  This date is called your “alleged onset date” and it is the date the SSA will use to establish that your medical condition kept you from working.

Choosing an onset date of disability is important to your case because the SSA may not accept the date that you choose. If they don’t, then can cause a delay in your case.

It is important to choose an onset date that is near to the date you stopped working. SSA defines work as earning money at the level of substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2021, that amount of money, or SGA, is $1310 per month.

If you are earning over the level of substantial gainful activity, then the SSA will not let you file for SSD benefits. If you stop working for reasons other than disability and then become disabled, then you can choose an onset date that coincides with your when your illness began.


Do not choose an onset date of disability in the past when you were working. While your medical condition might have started while you were working, you cannot get benefits while working. Therefore, your onset date must be a date when you were not working. For example, let’s pretend that you were diagnosed with cancer one year ago. However, after your doctor told you that you had cancer you continued to work for 3 months.

After 3 months, your cancer symptoms got worse and you had to quit work. Your onset date is not the day the doctor told you that you had cancer. Instead, your onset date of disability is the day that you stopped working. Therefore, it is important to choose an alleged onset date that coincides with the date you became disabled and the date that you were no longer able to work.

The date you allege disability is also important because it will be the date that the SSA uses to figure out your back benefits. Learn more about back benefits or past due SSD benefits. Additionally, it is also the date the SSA uses to calculate your Medicare benefits.


If you are awarded SSI benefits, your monthly benefits will begin on the day you apply for SSI benefits.  However, if you win Social Security  benefits, you will have a five month waiting period from your the onset date before you can get benefit payments. Your onset date is the day your disability began. But, it must also be a day that you were not working. The five month waiting period begins the month after you apply. So, in reality, it is actually a six month waiting period that SSA calls a 5 month waiting period.

SSD benefits can be paid a year prior to the date of your application, as long as you were not working.  Working also has a special meaning with the SSA. The SSA defines working as earning a certain amount of money every month. Read more about SSA’s definition of working. Working prevents you from filing for benefits.


If you need to file your application for SSD benefits, then contact us. We will help you file your online application. Additionally, we offer a free review of your benefits.  Moreover, it costs no money up-front to hire us to help you win your case.

The legal team at our law firm helps thousands of people every year. We have been winning SSD and SSI cases for over 30 years. During that time, we have won over 20,000 cases. Additionally, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients.

Not only will help you file your application online. After that, we will appeal any SSA denial you receive. Prior to your disability hearing, we meet with you to discuss the questions the Judge will ask. Every person is different and has unique issues that they face.

Therefore, when we prepare you for your hearing, we focus on your unique medical condition. The SSA will consider all of your physical and mental conditions. Learn more about physical conditions.  If you have mental illness and want to learn more, then read here. When you file your application, make sure to report all of your medical conditions to the SSA. Even if you think they are not important. You could be wrong. The SSA must consider every condition and sometimes the combination of your conditions makes it impossible for you to work. Learn more about your residual functional capacity.

It is our job, if you hire Cannon Disability as your legal team, to show the Judge why you cannot work due to your illness. We will prove your mental and physical conditions prevent you from working. Contact us today for help with your SSD benefits.

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