Who Do I Contact at Social Security To File For SSD or SSI Disability?

If you are filing for disability benefits in either the SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) or SSI (supplemental security income) programs, or in both programs if your claim becomes a concurrent claim, you must contact the Social Security Administration.

This can be done in a few ways. You can go online at the Social Security website and file an application for Social Security Disability. This application method is fine but it does not allow you to file an SSI disability claim. And since most applicants who begin the process will not know if their claim will be for Social Security Disability, SSI, or perhaps both programs in an concurrent claim, it may not be time-productive to utilize the online process.

Furthermore, if you file for SSD or SSI online, you will not have the same opportunity that applicants who file in person have, which is to ask questions from a live person, in this case a CR, or claims representative at a local social security office.

Additionally with regard to filing a claim through the internet, you must complete the disability medical report form online, print a medical release form, and return the forms to your local Social Security office.

This method almost always requires contact from your local Social Security office, meaning you will almost always have to be contacted by someone at the social security office so they can ask you questions for the purpose of gathering additional information, or clarifying information. This, of course, eliminates any perceived advantage of filing online. Which makes the other contact methods more attractive.

If you decide not to file online, you can contact your local office by phone. Or, if you go into the office, you can be scheduled for a disability claim interview with a claims representative. The claims representative will complete your disability applications, disability report form, and have you sign the medical release form there, or, after the interview, they can mail out the remaining forms for you to sign and return.

Other than these methods, you can file your disability application with the immediate claims taking unit by calling the toll free Social Security number. While this method is available, very often you will still have to go to your local Social Security office to return your medical release forms and eligibility proof documents if you do not wish to mail your original or certified documents to the immediate claims taking unit.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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