- medical records or documentation you have; we can make copies of your records and return your originals;
- the names, addresses and phone numbers for any doctors, hospitals, medical facilities, treatment centers or providers related to your disabling condition; and
- the names, addresses and phone numbers for recent employers and the dates worked for each employer.
We also ask you to sign release forms that give us permission to obtain the information needed from third parties to make a decision on your claim.
The best place to start is online at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability. Select “Disability Starter Kits” in the left column. There, you’ll find important information to help you with your application.
If you prefer, you may call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to make an appointment to apply at your local Social Security office or to set up an appointment for someone to take your application over the phone.
If you are approved for disability benefits, that doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to work again. In fact, Social Security has special rules called “work incentives” that allow you to test your ability to work.
Learn more about disability benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.
Charo Boyd is Social Security public affairs specialist for east central Indiana. Her column appears every other Monday on the Business page.