Social Security Disability

Protecting the Rights You Deserve

Initial information you want to have includes a list of all of your doctors, clinics and hospitals. Social Security’s Disability Starter Kit asks for any medical records you may have, but most people have very few. At most, you probably have a few pages of instructions from a doctor and a stack of medical bills. These aren’t useful to Social Security, but they will help you put your list together. You also need the names and birth dates of any children you have who are still under 18, and you need your husband or wife’s name and birth date. You also need to know the dates of all of your marriages and divorces, your place of birth and your mother’s maiden name. You will also need to state a date of onset — the date your physical or mental health (or both combined) became so bad that you had to stop working.

The date of onset is important for several reasons. It impacts the amount of your back-benefit, the lump-sum you get paid when Social Security decides you’ve been disabled for a long time and that you’re owed back benefits. Also, your date of onset can impact your Medicare eligibility. You become eligible for Medicare when you have been eligible for Social Security disability benefits for two years. If your date of onset was more than two years ago, then you may become eligible for Medicare benefits as soon as you start drawing your monthly benefit check.

Once these steps have been taken, your Social Security claim has been initiated. You have now entered the first phase of your claim and on the way to completion and receiving the benefits you deserve. Learn more about the process from start to finish after filing a claim below.