Applying for Social Security disability benefits; guidance from a Dothan Social Security lawyer

You can apply for Alabama Social Security disability benefits in one of three ways: (1) in person at your local Social Security office, (2) over the telephone, or (3) online at the Social Security Administration’s website,

If you decide to apply by phone, first call Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to make an appointment.  The representative will give you a time at which someone will call you to take your application. The completed application will be mailed to you for your signature. If you plan to go to your local office, you can drop in, which may mean a long wait, or make an appointment by calling the toll-free number.

Your first step in the application process is to complete two forms: the Application for Benefits and the Adult Disability Report Form.

Information needed to complete the forms

To save time and make the application process go smoothly, you should gather the information requested by the forms in advance.

To complete the Application for Disability Insurance Benefits you will need:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • An original or certified copy of your birth certificate.  If you were born in another country, proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency.
  • Numbers of accounts to which you want your monthly benefits direct deposited.
  • Your W-2 form from last year or your federal income tax return if you were self-employed.
  • Information about any workers’ compensation claim you have filed, including date of injury, claim number, and proof of any payments made to you.
  • If you were in the military, the original or certified copy of your military discharge papers (Form DD 214) for all periods of active duty.
  • The dates of your marriages and divorces.
  • The names and ages of your minor children and spouse.

To complete the Disability Report Form, you will need:

  • The name, address, and phone number of someone who knows about your condition and can help with your claim.
  • A list of your illnesses, injuries, or conditions, and how they affect your ability to work.
  • A list of each of the jobs you had in the 15 year before you became unable to work, the dates you held each job, the hours your worked, your pay, and, for the job you held the longest, information on the physical demands of the job, i.e., how much weight did you lift, how many hours a day did you walk, stand, sit, and so forth.
  • The name and contact information for each health care provider, hospital, or clinic that may have information about your medical conditions, the reason you saw the provider, the dates of your first and last visits, and the treatment you received.
  • The medications you are currently taking for your condition, the prescribing doctor, reason for the medications, and any side effects they cause.
  • The medical tests you have had for your conditions, when and where each test was done, and who sent you for the test.
  • Your educational history and vocational training.
  • Vocational rehabilitation or other employment or support services you have used.

Why complete accurate information is important

The Alabama Social Security office will make its initial decision on your claim based on the information that it has gathered from you and your health care providers. You can increase your chances of a successful outcome at the initial stage by filling out the forms accurately and completely.

We can assist you once you have filed your application.  You do not need to wait until your application has been denied.  Please describe your claim using the form to the right, and we will respond promptly. Or you may email us or call us today.

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