If you are unable to work because of a physical or mental impairment that will last at least 12 months, you may qualify for disability benefits. The process for qualifying for disability benefits in Washington state requires a lot of paperwork and can be quite time consuming.
Make sure you qualify for disability: You must not be able to do any substantial work activity because of a diagnosable physical or mental illness that is expected to last for 12 continuous months or result in death. The Social Security website has a benefits eligibility screening tool you can use to determine if you think you might qualify for any of three programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); Supplemental Security Income (SSI); or Non-Grant Medical Assistance (NGMA).
Get the forms at any Division of Disability Determination Services (DDDS) branch office or on the website, fill them out and submit them.
Document your illness by gathering your medical records and talking to your doctor.
Provide the requested medical evidence for a medical determination of disability.
Wait for a decision from the Social Security Administration office.
A doctor's opinion that you are unable to work is not enough to determine eligibility. Your disability must be demonstrated through symptoms and test findings and be supported by documentation.