How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Submitted by rsg on

Once you have determined that you are ready to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it is now time to decide how you would like to apply. While the Social Security Disability application process is lengthy, the Social Disability Administration (SSA) has tried to make it as simple as possible.

Disability applications can be completed online, over the phone, or by making an appointment with your local Social Security office.

How Difficult Is it to Apply For Disability Benefits Online?

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits online has many advantages. First and foremost, you can apply from the comfort of your home at a time and date that is most convenient for you. As you are likely to have all of your personal documents at home, you can easily retrieve information that might be needed during the application process. Further, if you are unable to finish your application at one time, you may save the form and return to it later.

Individuals who are over the age of 18, are not currently receiving disability benefits on their own record, and who have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days may utilize the online application process.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has developed a very helpful checklist for those individuals who wish to apply online. The list will help applicants to gather the information needed to complete the online process. The complete online application for Disability Benefits can be found here.

All applicants who apply online will be assigned an application number. Be sure to keep track of this important number, as you will need it to return to your application or to track the status of your application.

How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits?

What Documents Do I Need to Provide to the Social Security Administration?

There are a few documents needed when applying for Social Security benefits. Applicants will need to provide an original birth certificate or other proof of birth, such as proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if not born in the United States. Other documents needed include W-2 forms, self-employment tax forms, and medical evidence that is already in the applicants’ possession.

Documents can be sent via the mail or hand-delivered to your local Social Security office. All documents should include the Social Security number attached to the case. Keep in mind that original copies of documents must be free of additional markings, such as social security numbers.

What Is the Process for Applying Over the Phone?

If you wish you apply for Social Security Disability benefits over the phone, you can do so by calling 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call TTY 1-800-325-0778.

How Do I Apply for Disability Benefits in Person?

Some people do not feel comfortable applying for Disability benefits over the phone or online. Other individuals prefer to have the assistance of a field representative when filling out their application. If this is the case for you, you can also apply in person at your local Social Security office.

Do You Need An Appointment for Local Social Security Office?

Once you have found your local field office, you can call them directly to make an appointment. Although an appointment is not mandatory, field offices encourage individuals who want to file a claim for benefits in person to make an appointment. Scheduling an appointment ahead of your arrival will likely shorten your waiting time when you get to the field office.

Should I Work with A Disability Attorney to Complete My Application?

The Social Security Disability application process can be complicated and lengthy. Applicants must be diligent in ensuring that the information provided is accurate and timely. Many disability cases have been lost due to missing application information. An experienced attorney with a background in Social Security law can be of great value to you when completing your application.

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