How to File for Disability in Washington

Four Methods:Medical and Personal Information RequirementsFile for Disability on the InternetFile for Disability by Phone or In PersonFeedback from the Washington DDS

If you are an individual who is mentally or physically impaired, and cannot perform any type of work for income as a result of your impairment, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). In the state of Washington, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) department within the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services will review your medical symptoms, medical records, and evaluate medical tests and results to determine if you are eligible to receive financial benefits. Your mental or physical impairment must also be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in your death in order for you to be eligible for benefits. Continue reading to learn about the various methods in which you can file for disability in the state of Washington.

Method 1
Medical and Personal Information Requirements

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    Gather your personal medical documents. The DDS will review and evaluate every piece of documentation that provides information about your mental or physical impairment.
    • Consult with every health care provider that has treated you for your disability to gather copies of test and laboratory results, names and doses of prescribed medications, and your medical records.
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    Gather personal identification documents. To verify your identity, the SSA will need to review your birth certificate, identification card or driver's license, and have your Social Security Number on file.
    • Obtain your original birth certificate or a certified copy of the birth certificate; as the SSA will not accept a photocopy of a birth certificate you may have copied yourself.
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    Gather financial documentation. To help determine if you qualify for financial disability benefits, the DDS will review your most recent tax documents. You will also need to provide the SSA with your bank account information in the event you are approved to receive benefits.
    • Bring copies of your W-2 tax statements from the previous year or bring a copy of your federal tax return if you are self-employed.
    • Obtain your bank account and routing numbers, which the SSA will need in order to pay you disability benefits.
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    Gather documentation on past insurance claims. The DDS will review the details of any previous claims you have filed.
    • Compile your insurance claim numbers and contact information for the insurance companies that handled your claims.
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    Gather personal employment information. The DDS will review the nature of the type of work you do to determine if you can continue to work with your mental or physical impairment.
    • Compile the names and contact information of your employers and a description of your job titles and duties for the last 5 jobs you have held.

Method 2
File for Disability on the Internet

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    Access the disability benefits application. The SSA website allows you to file for disability online.
    • Click on the link for the SSA website featured in the Sources section of this article, then click on the third section on the webpage for "how do I apply for disability benefits."
    • Click on the application link provided, then answer the pre-screening questions located on the right side of the webpage.
    • Click on the "Apply for Benefits" button after you have answered the questions to access the disability benefits application.
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    Complete the SSA disability application. The SSA website will take you through the entire application process online, and will prompt you for the personal and medical information you compiled prior to accessing the application.
    • Enter your personal and medical information into every field provided, then click on the "Next" button at the bottom of every webpage within the online application. When you reach the end of the application, you will be prompted to electronically sign the application.
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    Deliver your personal and medical documents to the SSA. After you have finished completing the SSA disability application, you will be given instructions regarding the process for sending or taking your documents to the nearest SSA office in your area.

Method 3
File for Disability by Phone or In Person

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    Schedule an appointment to complete the disability application. You can schedule an appointment to file for disability over the phone or in person at the nearest SSA office.
    • Call the SSA appointment line at 1-800-772-1213 in as far in advance as possible; as your appointment may need to be scheduled weeks or months later depending on the activity levels of your local SSA offices.
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    Attend your disability appointment.
    • Gather or bring the medical and personal documentation you compiled earlier prior to the application process. You will need to provide the SSA office or telephone representative with your information so it can be entered into the application.
    • If you filed for disability over the phone, the SSA will provide you with instructions on how to deliver or send your medical and personal documentation to the nearest SSA office.

Method 4
Feedback from the Washington DDS

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    Receive disability benefits notification from the Washington DDS. After the DDS has reviewed all the information regarding your mental or physical impairment, they will send you a letter by mail informing you whether or not you were approved for benefits.
    • Review the outcome of your disability claim. If you were approved for benefits, the letter will notify you of information regarding your disability payments; however, if your claim was denied, you will be given instructions on how to file an appeal if you disagree with the outcome.


  • Call the Washington DDS at 1-800-737-0617 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday, if you have additional questions about the disability benefits application and eligibility process.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Disability Forms Permits and Benefits | Attention and Developmental Disorders