Social Security Q&A: Explaining Different Disability Documents

Social Security Q&A: Explaining Different Disability Documents

Question: What is the difference between the disability application and the disability report? Do I have to complete both?

Answer: A disability application is a claim for Social Security disability benefits.

A disability report provides information about your current physical or mental condition that is needed to process your disability application.

To establish a claim for disability benefits, you need to file a disability application, submit a disability report and provide an authorization to release medical records. The best place to start is at

Q: I’ve been turned down for disability benefits. How do I appeal?

A: When a decision is made on your application, Social Security will send you a letter explaining our decision. If you do not agree with the decision, you can appeal.

Appealing means you can ask Social Security to look at your case again. You must appeal within 60 days from the date you got the decision letter. You can:

■ File a disability appeal online at

■ Visit your local Social Security office.

For more information, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Q: I own a small business. How can I verify employees’ Social Security numbers?

A: Employers can use the Social Security Number Verification Service to verify the names and Social Security numbers of current and former employees for wage reporting purposes.

For more information, go to

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit

Author: Tribune News Service

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