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Form SSA-827: How to Complete the SSA Authorization Form

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
April 29, 2024  ·  2 min read
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The SSA-827 form is a standard part of the disability application process for SSI or SSDI. By completing this form, you authorize the disclosure of your medical, education, and employment records. Basically, the form gives the Social Security Administration (SSA) permission to view the information they need as they decide whether to grant you disability benefits. 

What is the SSA-827 form?

The SSA-827 form allows the SSA to request and view information relevant to your disability application, such as your medical records for physical or mental health treatment you’ve received. The SSA might ask for information from third parties, such as:

  • Healthcare providers

  • Educational institutions

  • Former employers

  • Social workers

  • Workers’ compensation programs

  • Friends and family

Completing the form is important because it allows the SSA to ask your doctors for medical records. The SSA will use the information to determine your eligibility for benefits. 

Does SSA-827 comply with HIPPA?

Yes, the SSA-827 form complies with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. HIPAA is a federal law that protects your health information. Covered entities must follow HIPAA regulations when accessing your medical records and other personal health information. The SSA-827 form contains everything that HIPAA requires for valid authorization forms.

Is the SSA-827 form required for every disability application?

Yes, the SSA-27 form is a standard part of the disability application process for those applying for the first time or appealing a denial. The form only allows the SSA to view your medical records for 12 months. So, you might need to complete the form more than once if your disability application process stretches beyond a year.

You can fill out the form yourself for your own disability application. Individuals with legal authority to act on behalf of a child (such as a parent, guardian, or representative) can also fill out the form for their child using the SSA’s attestation process.

Relieve yourself of paperwork stress. Get help from a lawyer.

What information is required on the SSA-827 form?

The SSA-827 form asks you to provide the following information:

  • The first, middle, and last name of the person whose records need to be disclosed 

  • Social Security number

  • Birth date

  • Signature (or signature of parent, guardian, or other personal representative) 

  • Date signed

  • Street address

  • Phone number

  • City

  • State

  • Zip code

You may also need a witness who can verify your identity. (Federal law does not require a witness, but some state laws do.) This person must sign the form and provide their phone number or street address. If you submit the form in person, your witness can be any other adult, including an SSA employee. 

How to complete the form section-by-section

Follow these steps to complete the SSA-827 authorization form:

  1. Start at the top of the form in the section labeled “Whose Records to be Disclosed.” Whether you’re filling out the form for yourself, your child, or your dependent, write the name, Social Security number, and birth date.

  2. Skip over the information box (labeled “THIS BOX TO BE COMPLETED BY SSA/DDS”) and go to the bottom half of the page. 

  3. Next to “PURPOSE,” if relevant, check the box “determining whether I am capable of managing benefits ONLY.” This refers to the applicant’s ability to manage and receive benefit payments and understand the reporting requirements.

  4. Sign the form in the signature field. If you’re signing for someone else, check the appropriate box to indicate your authority on their behalf. Fill in the date signed, your address, and your phone number.

  5. Your local SSA office can tell you whether or not the SSA-827 form needs a witness signature in your state.

Once you’ve completed the form, submit a digital copy online along with your disability application. Or take a hard copy to your local SSA office with the rest of your application materials. 

Get help with your application

SSA-827 isn’t the only form you’ll have to fill out. Applying for disability involves a lot of paperwork. It can be overwhelming, but a disability lawyer can help.

Social Security disability lawyers have experience helping people put together a strong disability application. A disability lawyer can help you fill out your application, gather medical records, and represent you at a hearing. 

Atticus can connect you with one of our professional disability attorneys at no cost. We also offer free legal advice to help with your case. Find a disability lawyer near you by taking our 2-minute disability benefits quiz.

Frequently asked questions about applying for disability

Where do I apply for disability benefits?

You can apply for Social Security disability benefits online through the SSA website. You can also apply in-person by visiting your local SSA office. Get step-by-step help in our breakdown of the disability application process.

What forms do I need to fill out to apply for disability?

Start with the main disability benefits application form (SSA-16). You’ll need to fill out additional forms, including a work history report on your previous work experience and a function report on how your condition impacts your life. The SSA will also ask for medical records and other relevant personal information.

When should I apply for disability benefits?

We recommend applying for benefits as soon as you know you’ll be unable to work. The application process takes a while — a year or longer for the average person. The sooner you submit your application, the sooner you can get your benefits.

What conditions qualify for disability benefits?

Any medical condition that leaves you unable to work can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You’ll need to give the SSA medical records that clearly show how your condition affects you and why you can’t work because of it. Learn more about conditions that qualify for disability.

Do I need a lawyer to apply for disability?

A lawyer isn’t required and you can win benefits without a lawyer. However, the process is complicated and technical — especially when you get to a court hearing. Working with a good lawyer triples your chances of winning an appeal.

How much do SSDI and SSI pay?

It depends which benefits you qualify for. SSDI pays up to $3,822 per month and SSI pays up to $943 per month in 2024. Your exact check is based on your income and tax history if you get SSDI, and your other monthly income if you get SSI. Read more about how much you can make on SSDI and SSI.

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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