How to Claim Disability Benefits

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This article will cover how to claim disability benefits from Social Security. If you meet the requirements, Social Security can provide you with money to help offset the costs of your long-term disability. If you are interested in claiming disability benefits from your insurance, please contact your insurer, because each company has unique rules and procedures for filing claims.

Determine your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. You must have a disability that renders you unable to work, and you must expect that condition to last at least one year. You also must have worked a certain amount of time before becoming disabled. This is based on your age. See the chart in Resources for more information

Fill out a Disability Report application online or at the nearest Social Security office.

Provide the Social Security office with permission to contact your health care providers and obtain any information relevant to your case.

Describe your medical condition and explain why it will make you unable to work for at least the next year.

Allow the Social Security office time to complete obtaining your medical information from your health care providers. The office might contact you with requests for further medical information.

Receive a decision letter from the Social Security Administration. If your claim is approved, the letter will give you the details on how much you will receive and when you can expect your disability payments to begin. If you are denied, the letter will provide you with the rationale for the decision along with information on how to appeal the decision.


  • The SSA claims it can take up to five months to process your application for benefits.


  • The SSA does not give short-term disability benefits. However, you may be eligible for state, local or employee benefits. That also applies to people who are partially disabled.



About the Author

Brad Hostetter has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ball State University and has been a professional writer and editor since 2007. His work appears online at Winning Writers, Clickfire, The Melting Pot Project and Jerry Jazz Musician.