Social Security Disability RC|
How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go to apply?
Technically speaking, you do not actually have to go anywhere to file a Social Security Disability application. If you are unable to visit a social security field office, or just do not feel comfortable going to an office, you can apply for disability by phone or online.
Applying for disability over the phone
If you wish to do a phone disability application, you should contact your local Social Security office to set up an appointment for a Social Security and/or an SSI disability claim (some individuals will have concurrent claims, meaning claims for both SSD and SSI simultaneously).
In such instances, a claims representative will complete your disability application as well as the necessary disability medical forms. They will mail you a medical release form (form SSA-827) to sign along with a self addressed postage-paid envelope for the return of the medical release form.
Sometimes Social Security needs additional proof documents, especially if you are filing for SSI disability benefits. They will generally provide you with a list of documents they need and also provide a postage paid envelope for you to return the documents. Once they have reviewed your documents, they will return them to you.
Applying for disability online
If you wish to apply for your disability online, you can file for Social Security Disability or SSI. The online disability application process requires that a claims representative contact you to complete an SSI disability application if you wish to file. In other words, an SSI claim is not considered to be officially taken without the prospective claimant being contacted; whereas an SSD application can be initiated online by the claimant entirely on their own. The SSA.GOV page currently states "Visiting our Apply Online for Disability Benefits website to start the disability application process online. You may be eligible to apply for SSI through the online disability application."
Skip the online process?
Since a high percentage of disability claims are concurrent (meaning that they involve both Social Security Disability and SSI) and since claimants will have no way of knowing in advance which program or programs will apply to their case, it may simply be more practical to bypass the online filing process and directly contact a local Social Security office. There are many instances in which claimants have misunderstood how long they have to complete the online process once it has been started and, as a result, have had their claims terminated before they even got to the evaluation stage involving a DDS disability examiner.
If you file online, make sure to complete your “disability medical report” online as well. Unfortunately, you will need to print, sign, and mail a medical release form to your local Social Security office in order to complete your disability application.
Currently, the medical release form is one of the few forms that still require a pen and ink signature to be valid. The reason for this is that medical release forms are used to get medical information that is covered by strict privacy laws.
What is the best way to apply for disability?
Currently, it is probably better for you to apply for disability by phone or do an in-person disability interview, because it allows Social Security to get all the necessary information at the time of your disability interview.
While you still have to mail in a medical release form if you file by phone, it is still much more convenient than waiting for Social Security to re-contact you for an SSI application and in some cases to get your medical information.
Whether you file online or by phone, it is imperative that you return your signed medical release form within thirty days of filing your disability claim. If Social Security does not receive your medical release form, your disability claim may be denied for failure to cooperate. This means that your disability claim will never be sent to a disability examiner for a medical disability decision (meaning your records will not be gathered and evaluated).
Applying for disability in person
An in-person interview at your local Social Security office is the most reliable method to apply for disability with Social Security.
The claims representative can evaluate your eligibility for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability at the time of your disability interview. They will complete all the necessary disability forms for you. And you can sign your medical release form during this interview as well.
This means your disability claim will be ready to be sent to a state disability agency the same day (the agency is known in most states as DDS, or disability determination services) with no waiting on the mail or for a “re-contact” from Social Security to complete the required disability forms.
What Happens When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application?
What happens if my SSI or Social Security Disability Application is denied?
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
How to apply for disability and where to apply What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
What happens after I file my disability claim with Social Security? What happens after a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim has been taken and is Pending
If you get denied on a disability application do you have to file a new application?
How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal Under SSDI or SSI is Made What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability qualifications
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Permanent Social Security Disability
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
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?
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.