How to Apply for Disability – Overview
Social security offers a nice opportunity to people with disabilities. You can fill up an online disability application at your convenience and apply from the comfort of your home. There is no need to go to your nearby office in person and wait for an appointment with social security representative.
When to Apply?
You can apply for this program as soon as you become disabled.
- SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) has a waiting period of five months. However, if you apply fast, the benefit payment will begin during the sixth month of disability.
- If your disability results from ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and you have received your approval on or after 23rd July 2020, there will be no waiting period for you.
- The SSI or Supplemental Security Income disability benefit will be paid for the first month after you become qualified for SSI.
How to Apply?
There are three different methods that you can follow to apply for the disability program.
- You can download the starter kit at https://www.ssa.gov/disability/Documents/SSA-1170-KIT.pdf.
- This starter kit contains basic information about the Social Security Law. You can find more information about the types of benefits available for individuals with disabilities.
- This kit will give you an idea of what you can expect from the application method and how to process your application efficiently. It also contains a checklist of all the documents that you will need during the application process.
- The primary goal of your documents must be to prove your disabilities to SSA and receive approval. The more documentation you can add better the probability of receiving the approval.
- You need the basic information, including the names of your doctors, their contact details, caseworkers, clinics, or hospitals where you receive your treatments. You may need all the dates of all these visits as well. You have to submit all copies of your medical record, laboratory tests, and test results.
- You should prepare a list of all the medications you are currently taking. Mention age dosage and the schedule as well.
- Submit all the documents of your work experience, if you have any. Mention your work type and most recent tax return document as proof of your income.
- The online application form will ask different questions about your disability, work history, medical treatment, and work history. You will have to answer different questions about your family members as well.
- If you need help while filling out your application, you can take help from the links given to answer the questions appropriately.
- Submit original copies of all the required documents via mail. The SSA makes a copy of the original documents and returns the originals.
- You can find the address of your local SSA office at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp. Type your ZIP code there and find the nearest SSA office.
- Include your social security number while mailing the documents. It is necessary to match your documents with your application. You can send the documents via certified mail with a returned receipt request.
- All you need is to wait for their response. SSA will call you with a requirement for further documentation or to schedule a personal interview. In some cases, you may have to complete a medical examination.
- They will send your application to your State’s agency. Medical and vocational experts will review your application to see if you meet the necessary disability criteria. They will move forward with your application if you meet all their criteria.
Apply Over the Phone
- Download the starter kit to read and understand all the required details.
- Gather all the required documents and organize them properly.
- Call their toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 to apply over the phone.
- If you have any hearing impairments, you can call their TTY line at 1-800-325-0778
- Their representative will ask if you want to apply in person. If not, they will ask you similar questions as the online application form.
- Keep all your documents organized and handy. They may ask several questions about your disability, medical history, and work history.
- You need to mail all your original documents to them. They will make copies and return your original documents.
- You can always find the details about your nearby SSA office at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.
- Once the State’s agency reviews your application, they will call you to inform the status of your application.
Apply in Person
- You can find the contact details and the location of your nearby SSA office at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.
- Call them to book an appointment.
- Download the disability starter kit and read it thoroughly before attending your appointment to better understand the entire process.
- Gather all the required documents and organize them.
- Complete the medical and job worksheet. The worksheet contains questions about all your medical conditions and medical history.
- The worksheet also contains questions regarding your work history.
- Go to your nearby social security office. Carry all your original documents and your worksheet with you. An SSA representative will make copies of your file and return the original documents.
- The representative will ask you several questions about yourself, your family, your work, and your disability.
- If you don’t have sufficient documentation or information to answer the questions, they will help you to find the required information.
- After the interview, you have to wait for a response. It can take three to five months to get a response from them.
- After the interview, they will send your documents to the State agency. There your application will be examined by vocational experts and doctors.
- They can contact your medical health providers for additional information.
- If required, you may have to go through an additional medical examination.
- They will move forward with your application if you fit into their necessary criteria.
There are three general methods to apply for the SSA disability program. You can choose your convenient method and complete the application process.
Make sure to submit all the required documents to back up your claim. They will move forward with your application if you meet all their necessary criteria.