Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Apply for Benefits

You can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):

  • Online (which starts the application process immediately instead of having to wait for an appointment)
  • By calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) to make an appointment to apply either:

Tip: You can get free help with your SSDI application if you either get state benefits, like General Assistance (GA) or Housing Support (formerly Group Residential Housing), or are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness. Use the Social Security Benefits Advocacy Directory to find an agency near you. For more information, Chat with a Hub expert.

Note: Due to COVID-19, there may be limits on in-person services. Contact your agency by phone to ask about this.

Getting Your Application Ready

Get this information ready for your SSDI application:

  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and others who have treated you
  • Prescriptions and results of medical tests
  • Copies of medical records
  • Your Social Security Number and the Social Security Numbers of your spouse and any children under the age of 18
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or of legal residency, if you were born outside the U.S., like naturalization papers, your U.S. passport, or your green card
  • A certified copy of your military discharge papers (Form DD 214), if you were in the military
  • Copies of recent tax records or W-2 forms
  • Information on any Workers’ Compensation you’ve gotten
  • A list of the types of jobs you've done for the past 15 years

Social Security provides a detailed checklist of the information you need to complete the application process.

Other Benefits

It takes a while for your SSDI application to be reviewed and, if you qualify, benefits don’t begin until five months after your disability began. If you are approved, you start getting monthly payments, but have to wait another two years before you automatically start getting Medicare health coverage.

While you are waiting for Social Security to review your application and then for Medicare to begin, you should see what else might help you. At first, try to use your job's sick pay or vacation pay and see whether your company has a short-term or long-term disability insurance plan.

Then, you can apply for other benefits, including:

You can apply for these benefits at your county or tribal human services office by mail or in person. You can also apply online using:

  • MNbenefits for non-health programs, including MSA, SNAP, MFIP, GA, and emergency help.
  • MNsure for MA. Note: For MA, it is best to apply through your county or tribal human services office, because there are many ways you might qualify and MNsure might not identify the right one for you.

If you need help with an application, Chat with a Hub expert.

SSDI and SSI at the same time

You may qualify for SSDI and SSI benefits at the same time. The SSI program counts SSDI payments as unearned income. For a single person who lives independently, this means that if you get $861 or more per month in SSDI, you don't qualify for SSI benefits.

If you get less than $861 per month from SSDI and you don’t have any other income, you may qualify for SSI benefits. Usually, you get a combined total of $861 in benefits each month between the two programs. Most adults who get SSI also get $81 per month in Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA).

For example, if you get $500 per month from SSDI and have no other income, you could get $361 per month from SSI, and $81 per month from MSA.

Note: You have to apply for SSI and MSA separately. Learn more in DB101's SSI article and MSA article.

Learn more