Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
You can apply for Social Security disability benefits over the phone, in person at a Social Security office, or online at the Social Security Administration website, http://www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/. If you want to apply in person, first call SSA at (800) 772-1213 to schedule an appointment. They will tell you where your nearest Social Security office is and what papers you will need to bring. If you want to apply over the phone, call SSA and they will give you a date and time to expect a phone call from someone who will take your application over the phone. The completed application will be mailed to you for your signature.
The Social Security Administration will ask you to submit a Disability Report at the same time as your application for Social Security disability benefits. When you fill out this report, explain how your medical condition keeps you from working. On both the disability report and the application for disability benefits, be truthful, and avoid exaggerating your disability.
Keep in mind that most applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied at this first stage. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get disability benefits eventually. If your disability keeps you from working, appeal your initial denial and any subsequent denials of your appeal. More than half of people who appeal their Social Security disability claim through the hearing level win disability benefits. A knowledgeable disability lawyer can help with this process.
For more information on the Social Security disability application process, see the following articles, or for information on appealing a denial of benefits, see Social Security Disability Appeals.