How do I apply for Social Security Disability?
Do you need help with the SSDI application process?
Find out how to apply.
Author Attorney Greg Reed:
If you have a condition which prevents you from working, Social Security Disability Insurance can help provide you with some income. Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits is a long process, but it is important to take the first step. There are several ways to begin your application.
Apply in Person
If you want to file a claim in person, you can stop by your local Social Security office. If you live in a major city like Austin or Dallas, there will be several nearby. If you live in a more rural location, it may a bit of drive to your nearest SSA office. You can find out where the closest office to you is by using the SSA’s office locator tool.
In person may be the best way to apply because a representative of the Social Security Administration will be there to help you file. They will provide any necessary forms and be able to answer some of the questions you may have. If any information is missing, you will have an opportunity to respond right then and there.
There is one major downside of applying in person- you may have to spend a lot of time waiting in a government office.
Also people with disabilities often experience limited mobility so physically getting to the office may be struggle. If you are planning on applying this way, it is recommended that you call ahead of time so they can tell you where to go and what to bring.
Apply by Phone
If you want to avoid having to physically go to your local office, applying for benefits over the phone is an option. To begin a phone application, dial 1-800-772-1213. The Social Security Administration will take some of your information and then transfer you to the appropriate local office. Generally, they will set an appointment for you to call back at a later date with instructions for what documents you will need and what information you should have ready. You may be asked to mail copies of identifying documents and medical records.
Applying for benefits online is fast and convenient. This method works best for applicants who have mobility issues or who otherwise don’t want to go to a local office. The online application is available on the Social Security Administration’s website. You do not have to fill out the application all at once, you can save what you have entered and get back to it at a later date. The date you begin the application counts as your filing date as long as you complete the application within two months. After you complete your application, you may be asked to mail in medical records or other information.
During the Covid-19 pandemic the SSA started taking Faxed applications, but on August 22nd 2023 they announced they will no longer accept applications by FAX.
There are a few ways to apply, so choose what works best for you.
If you apply in person, you will receive help filling out the application but it may be difficult to get to the office. Applying online is fast and convenient, but if you are uncomfortable with technology it may be easier to go to the physical office. The method you use has no effect on the chance of success of your application – no matter which option you choose, the application is processed by the same people in your local SSA office.
When applying for disability, there are various pieces of information you should have ready to report, including the following:
- Social security and proof of age
- Names, address and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, etc. that took care of you and the dates of your visits
- Names and dosages of current medications
- Medical records
- Lab and test results
- Summary of work experience
- Most recent W-2 form or federal tax return if self-employed
The team of disability lawyers at Bemis, Roach & Reed knows how crucial disability benefits can be for maintaining financial stability. Our attorneys are assisting clients with their disability cases in cities all across Texas including Austin. Contact us for a free case evaluation.
Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
Author: Attorney Greg Reed has been practicing law for 29 years. He is Superlawyers rated by Thomson Reuters and is Top AV Preeminent® and Client Champion Gold rated by Martindale Hubbell. Through his extensive litigation Mr. Reed obtained board certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Greg is admitted to practice in the United States District Court - all Texas Districts and the United States Court of Appeals-Fifth Circuit. Mr. Reed is a member of the Travis County Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, past Director of the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and an Associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Reed and all the members of Bemis, Roach & Reed have been active participants in the Travis County Lawyer referral service.
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