Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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How do you get an SSI disability application and Claim started?
Your SSI disability claim cannot be filed online unlike an application for social security disability. However, even when a title II social security disability application is started online, the individual who is filing the disability claim nearly always has to be contacted later. Why? So that the field office claims representative can get additional information, or clarify information that was provided by the claimant but was not quite clear, or to ask additional questions (such as about the claimant's work history, or medical treatment, or when they stopped working).
This, being the case, one has to wonder just how effective starting a claim online really is. If you question the claims representatives that work in social security offices, they will readily tell you that, at present, the online process does not offer much advantage to the claimant or the individuals who are filing for disability.
Ideally, the best way to get an SSI disability claim started, or to get a social security disability application started, is to contact a local social security office and request that an appointment be made. The actual disability interview can be done over the phone, or in person at the social security office. If it is done over the phone, then the paperwork can be submitted after the phone interview is completed.
Of course, another way of getting an SSI or SSD disability application started is to simply file as a "walk-in". Yes, you can simply walk into a social security office and be seen. However, do not expect that you will be seen immediately as the office may be full of individuals who are being seen for scheduled appointments.
If you visit a social security office in person to start your disability claim, you may wish to bring the following: A picture ID; a certified birth certificate (not just a photocopy) and a DD214 if you served in the military.
Since the social security claims rep who will be taking your claim will be asking for your medical treatment history (including names of doctors and hospitals, names of diagnosed conditions, and dates of treatment) and your work history (names of jobs, descriptions of work performed, and dates of employment with specific jobs), it would be both helpful if you wrote this information down and brought it with you at the time of application.
What happens after you get your SSI claim or SSD claim filed? Contrary to what some believe, the disability application is only "taken" at the social security office. It is not worked on there. After the claim is taken, it is sent to a state agency where it is assigned to a disability examiner. This individual will begin to process the claim by sending letters of request for medical records. These letters will be sent to every doctor and hospital listed by the claimant on the disability report form.
Of course, the more information provided, the easier it will be to process the claim, and the more likely it will be that the claim will be approved; therefore, applicants, at this point, should endeavor to provide full and detailed information about their medical history.
The disability examiner will also rely on the work history information provided by the claimant. This information will allow the disability examiner to identify the jobs that were held by the claimant in the last fifteen years. By identifying these jobs, the disability examiner will be able to compare the mental and physical demands of these jobs to the physical and mental abilities which the claimant still retains, and this will help point the way toward an approval of the disability claim, or a denial of the disability claim.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Has my Disability Claim Been Approved?
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Advice to Win Social Security Disability and SSI Benefit Claims
How Quickly Is The Disability Claim Decision Made?
What is the SSI and Social Security Disability Application Wait Time?
How do you get an SSI disability application and Claim started?
Avoiding Mistakes to get your Disability Claim Approved
How to Claim Disability Benefits through Social Security
How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria