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Getting Ready For Your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Interview

Applying for SSDI benefits may seem like an overwhelming task, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resources online to help guide you through the process. The website offers an Adult Disability Starter Kit to help you get acquainted with everything you’ll need to apply successfully. This kit includes a fact sheet to answer common questions regarding disability applications, plus a checklist and a worksheet, SSA-3381, to help you prepare for your interview appointment.

What is included on the Adult Disability Starter Kit fact sheet?

The fact sheet answers the most common questions that an applicant has when applying for disability. Some examples of those questions are:

  • What can you expect during the interview appointment?
  • What can you do to speed up the process?
  • What process does Social Security use to decide if you’re disabled?
  • When will a decision be made?

At the interview appointment, a Social Security representative will complete your application for disability benefits and a disability report using the documents and verbal answers you supply. This interview takes about an hour, either over the telephone or at a local Social Security office. As per the fact sheet, you can complete the interview in less time if you complete the application for benefits and the disability report online. 

Once completed, the Social Security Administration will send the application to a state agency. The state agency will then request medical records from your doctors or other facilities where you received treatment. They can also send you forms to complete or request that you have an examination or medical test. The decision on your eligibility may take three to five months, depending on how long it takes to collect medical records and other evidence of your disability.

The Adult Disability Starter Kit checklist

This checklist helps you get ready for your disability interview. Here is some required information that you will need during the interview:

  • All of your medical records. If you cannot obtain all the pertinent medical records, the SSA will help you acquire those. 
  • If applicable, any workers’ compensation information, such as the claim number, date of injury, and settlement agreement.
  • The name and date of birth of your spouse, as well as any minor children you have. 
  • Checking or savings account number with the routing number for Direct Deposit of benefit checks.
  • Alternate contact information if you are unreachable.
  • Form SSA-827, providing your authorization for the release of medical information.
  • Form SSA-3381, providing information about your medical conditions, medical sources, and job history.