Preparing for Your Social Security Disability Interview

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The Social Security Administration offers a few ways of applying for Social Security Disability benefits – by mail, over the phone, online, or in person. You may also choose to apply via a combination of methods, but once you've made an appointment for either a visit to or a phone call with your local office, you must keep that appointment and prepare for your interview. You can, however, start the application process online via if you have access to a computer.

Following is an overview of how to prepare for your interview.

Medical and Job History Information

If you can't complete the medical and job worksheet online, you can ask the SSA to send you a disability starter kit, which includes that document. You'll need to provide the following information on the worksheet:

  • Your medical conditions

  • The date you stopped working (if you are not working)

  • Your height and weight

  • The name, address, and phone number of all doctors, hospitals, clinics, therapists, or emergency rooms you have visited because of your medical conditions, along with the dates of admission and release, or the dates you were first and last seen by a healthcare provider

  • The names of all medicines you take, the reason you take it, and the name of the prescriber

  • The names of any medical test you've had/will have, due to your condition, including the name of the provider who ordered the test, and the date of the test

  • Your job history (up to five jobs) for the 15 years prior to your disability, including job title, type of business, dates worked, hours worked per day, days worked per week, and the amount of/frequency of pay

If you have a phone interview, you'll need this worksheet in front of you for your call. And if you can't provide all of this information, an SSA official will help you complete this form over the phone or in person.

Even when you are able to complete the medical and job worksheet, the SSA might ask to review your medical records' so if you have an in-person interview, take with you any medical documents you have.

Proof of Identity

You will need documents that prove your identity, such as:

  • Your original birth certificate (not a copy)

  • Your driver's license

  • W-2 forms (or 1099 forms, if you are an independent contractor).

Family History

The SSA will ask numerous questions about your family, including any former spouses you may have. Be prepared to provide:

  • Your spouse's name, date of birth/age, and Social Security number (if you are currently married)

  • The names and dates of birth for any children you have

  • The dates and places of each of your marriages, including an explanation of how/when previous marriages ended

  • The date and location of death, or a copy of the death certificate, for anyone who was your current or former spouse at the time of their death

  • The names of any unmarried children under 18, or age 18-19 and in secondary school, or disabled before age 22

  • Whether you have or had a child under age 3 living with you during a calendar year when you had no earnings

  • Whether you have a parent who was dependent on you for half of his or her support at the time you became disabled.

Other Information

The SSA will ask for documentation regarding any other benefits or assistance you are currently receiving, or expect to receive, including benefits provided by an employer, the government, workers' compensation, an insurer, pension, or investment.

You must provide information for an emergency contact, and if you have a bank account and prefer direct-deposit of your disability checks, you'll need your account number and your bank's nine-digit routing number.

Getting Help With Your Claim

The process for applying for SSD can be overwhelming, especially for people who are in poor health. Contact an experienced SSD attorney if you need someone to assist with your application.

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