How to File for Social Security Disability Online

The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives about three-million applications for disability benefits each year. If each and every applicant were to go in to the local Social Security office to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the lines would be horrendous. How do you avoid the crowds at the Social Security office while still being able to apply for the disability benefits you need? If you have access to the Internet, you can complete your application online. The Internet provides disability applicants with an easy and convenient way to apply for disability benefits from the comfort of their own home. If you need to file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits and you would like to avoid the hassle of the local office and submit your application online, the following information will help you through the online disability application process.

Gather the Necessary Information

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits online, you will need to gather the information necessary to complete your disability claim. The SSA provides online applicants with an Adult Disability Checklist to refer to. This Adult Disability Checklist details the documents and materials that will be needed to apply for Social Security Disability benefits using the Internet. Make sure you review this checklist and gather all of the necessary materials prior to beginning your online disability application.

Filling Out the Online Application

Once you have reviewed the Adult Disability Checklist and have gathered the necessary information, you can begin to fill out the SSA's online disability application by visiting the Social Security Disability Application Web page. The SSA website estimates that it will take about ten to thirty minutes for you to complete the online application process.

Once you have completed the online application for disability benefits, you will need to provide the SSA with additional information. This information will be needed before your application can be processed. In addition to the online application that you submit, you will also need to provide the SSA with a signed medical release form and a medical and work history report. These documents will be used to complete the processing of your application for Social Security Disability benefits.

The Interview Process

Some applicants mistakenly believe that they will not need to speak with anyone at the Social Security office when filing for disability benefits over the Internet. This is not the case. You will still need to go through the disability interview process, which you can do in person at your local office or, in some cases, over the phone.

Time Estimates

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits online can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to complete your Social Security Disability interview, but it will not have much effect on the time it takes to be approved (or denied) for Social Security Disability benefits. The time it takes the SSA to process your initial application will still be between three to four months, on average. Whether you complete your disability application online or in person has little impact on the completion time (although you may receive your interview faster by applying on the SSA's website).

Once your application has been processed and the SSA has made a determination regarding your disability benefits, you will be provided with notice of the decision in writing. If you are awarded Social Security Disability benefits you will receive notice of how much you will be receiving each month and what date your benefits go into effect. If your application has been denied, you will be notified of why the SSA did not award your benefits.

In Case of a Denial

If your application for Social Security Disability benefits is not approved (and 70 percent are not), it is in your best interest to appeal the decision rather than re-applying for disability benefits. If you simply re-apply, chances are your application will be denied once again. You have a better chance of receiving benefits during a disability appeal, so make sure you appeal the decision within the 60-day deadline given by the SSA.

If you do decide to appeal a denied application for Social Security Disability benefits or are looking to file an initial claim, consider retaining the services of a qualified disability attorney. Your chances of successfully filing a disability claim are increased with proper legal representation.