Disability Determination Process
When To Apply
You should apply as soon as you become disabled.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have a five month waiting period, which means that benefit payments will not begin before the sixth full month of disability. The SSDI waiting period begins the first full month after the date we decide your disability began.
- There is no waiting period if your disability results from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and you are approved for SSDI benefits on or after July 23, 2020.
- We pay Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits for the first full month after the date you filed your claim, or, if later, the date you become eligible for SSI.
How To Apply
You can apply for Disability benefits online, or if you are unable to complete the application online, you can apply by calling our toll-free number,
People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free "TTY" number,
Some publications that will give you more information on disability benefits.
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security (Also known as The Blue Book) - Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
- Social Security Disability Benefits
- Benefits For Children With Disabilities
- What You Need To Know When You Get Disability Benefits
- Working While Disabled...How We Can Help
- Receiving Your Benefits By Direct Deposit
- Disability Planner