Getting Social Security Disability Benefits starts with filing an application in your local Social Security office. Unfortunately, local Social Security offices are closed during the COVID pandemic. If you are unable get to your local office, applications may be filed online or by phone. There are two separate benefit programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is for people with recent work histories, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for those who have not worked recently. You can apply for both SSDI and SSI on the same application. Applications should be filed when you become disabled. Consider applying as soon as you become disabled.
When you apply, you will need the following:
Social Security has a list of conditions - called the “Listings” or “Blue Book” - that under many circumstances qualify you for disability. These include cancers, heart problems, immune disorders, mental health conditions, and many others. However, to automatically qualify you must both (1) have the listed condition and (2) have a severe enough form of the disease that it meets the Listing.
Normally you can make an appointment at your local Social Security office and file an application in person. However, during COVID, offices are closed. Applications can be filed online or over the phone.