If you’re trying to determine where to get an application for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, you can stop looking! We’ve got all the info you need here.
However, don’t expect to just walk into your local Social Security office to grab a printout. Policies have changed thanks to the pandemic. Thankfully, filing can still be easy and efficient if you know where to start!
Finding the SSD Application Online
When applying for SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) asks applicants to try to use their online portal first.
There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that as of March 17, 2020, all SSA offices suspended face-to-face non-critical appointments owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision protects the health of the administration’s main clientele — older adults and people with disabilities — as well as SSA employees.
However, applying online actually has many advantages over filing in person. To begin with, you can start right now and don’t have to wait for an appointment! And you can apply in the comfort of your home, on any computer, at a time that works for you!
To get started online go to https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/ and click on the “Apply for Disability” icon. If you haven’t already, you will also have to create a my Social Security Account before starting your SSD application.
What Information Do I Need to File My Claim?
You must supply a good amount of information for your application, whether filed online or elsewhere. So, it helps to prepare before you start the application process.
Fortunately, the SSA created a “Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application” to help you gather the appropriate info. If that feels overwhelming, we’ve also put together a concise list of documents you’ll need for your SSD application.
Being prepared ahead of time will help you move through the process faster. However, the other great part about filing online is that you can stop whenever you need and revisit the forms later. Simply save your work, and when you’re ready to log back in, the SSA provides you with a re-entry number. Then you may continue answering the questions where you left off.
If you are ultimately unable to answer all the questions, you may still submit your application. If it looks like you may qualify, a SSA employee may be able to help you get the missing information.
What If I’m Unable to File Online?
Though the SSA currently prefers applicants start the process online, they recognize that may not be possible for everyone. If you find yourself in that category, you may try calling the SSA.
There is a national number where you may file your SSD application by phone. That number is 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), and SSA employees are available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may call those same numbers 24/7 to receive automated support, but you can only file during the “workday” hours.
Remember, you will still need to provide a lot of information if filing by phone as well, so refer to the disability checklist before calling.
Can’t I Just Drop My SSD Application Off at My Local SSA Office?
As previously aforementioned, no, you cannot just walk into your local SSA office at this time. And people with critical situations receive priority for appointments. Filing a disability application is not generally considered “critical.”
That being said, you can get assistance with your application by phone from your local SSA office. Employees are on hand to help you with any questions you may have. However, keep in mind that there may be longer than usual wait times owing to limited in-office staffing.
You can find the number for your local office by using the Social Security Office Locator. Just type in your ZIP code and click the “Locate” button. The next prompt will ask if you need card services, or other. Click “I Need Other Services” to find a page with the toll-free number for your local office. It will also give you the times that someone will be available to take your call.
Should I Get an Attorney to File My SSD Application for Me?
While you absolutely can file your own SSD application, the process can be a little daunting. Statistics show that people with a Social Security disability attorney in their corner stand a much better chance of getting the benefits they deserve.
If you think you may qualify for disability benefits, consider a no-fee consultation with a Social Security disability lawyer. Ours work on contingency so you have nothing to lose. However, meeting with an advocate before you file your claim will absolutely increase your chances of a successful application.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online SSD benefits evaluation now!
Kimberly Dawn Neumann
Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a multi-published NYC-based magazine and book writer whose work has appeared in a wide variety of publications ranging from Forbes to Cosmopolitan. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland, College of Journalism. For more, visit: www.KDNeumann.com, Instagram @dancerscribe, and Twitter @KimberlyNeumann