If you are unable to work because of a medical condition but you don’t have a Social Security card, you may wonder if you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits. The disability process is very detailed and requires providing extensive documentation, so a Social Security card would be needed.
Getting a Social Security card is usually an easy process. Sometimes you can even get your card quickly if you have already had a card in the past.
Getting a Social Security Card if You are a U.S. Citizen
If you have already had a card and it has been destroyed or misplaced, you can go online and request a new card in most states. If you have never been issued a Social Security card, you must provide the proper documentation.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) stresses that you must present the original document or copies that have been certified by the issuing agency. All documents must be current. To prove U.S. citizenship, you must provide a U.S. birth certificate or passport.
If a birth certificate doesn’t exist, other records such as a religious record before age 5, hospital records, or school records that show your age may be accepted.
Getting a Social Security Card if You are a Non-Citizen
Non-citizens who are authorized in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security can get a Social Security number. The number is required to work, collect Social Security benefits, and receive many other government services. If you are a legal U.S. alien, you need a Social Security card so you can work.
To get your card, you need to prove your identity and work-authorized immigration status. This means you must present your current immigration documents such as a Form I-551, Form I-94, or Form I-766. If you are an exchange visitor, you will need to provide you DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.
Depending on your status, you may have to provide a letter from your sponsor.
Who is Eligible for Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two disability programs, Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To receive these benefits, you must prove that you have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to work and receive a substantial gainful income.
If you are a legal U.S. alien or U.S. citizen you can qualify for disability benefits if you meet the criteria set forth for being declared disabled by the SSA.
Consult with an Attorney
If you are ready to file for Social Security disability benefits, you should consult with an advocate or an attorney. They can help you through the entire process, including the initial filing of the application and by ensuring that all your documentation and medical records are in order and sent to the SSA to support your claim.
An attorney or advocate can be very beneficial throughout the entire claims process and can improve your odds of being approved for benefits.