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Social Security Q&A: Disability benefits

Social Security Q&A: You must complete both a disability application and a disability report to apply for disability benefits.
Published: September 8, 2013

Q: I'm applying online for disability benefits. What is the difference between the disability application and the disability report? Do I have to complete both?

A: Yes, you will need to complete both when you apply for disability benefits. To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must file a disability application. A disability report provides information about your current physical or mental condition and we need this to process your disability application. You should complete a disability application, a disability report, and an authorization to release medical records to file a claim for disability benefits. To learn more, and to apply online, go to

How long to qualify?

Q: How do I know if I have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

A: You must have worked long enough — and recently enough — under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year.

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