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How Do I Start My Disability Application?

Understanding Disability Benefits: SSDI and SSI

By Kimberly Read

Updated June 13, 2014

Beginning your application for disability is easy and, as previously noted, you should begin this process as soon as possible due to the lengthy processing time and waiting periods for court dates. You have three options for initiating your request.
  1. Call the Social Security Administration – 1-800-772-1213

  2. Apply online – Apply for Disability

  3. Contact your local Social Security Office – Social Security Office Locator
If you call, Social Security sets you up with an appointment, either at a local office or a telephone appointment. If you apply online, you complete the initial forms over the internet, but some material will still need to be sent in.

NOTE: Many of Social Security’s forms have “yes” or “no” check boxes. However, the answers are often much more complicated than yes or no. Consider a simple question: “Can you work? [] Yes [] No” What if the answer is “Sometimes,” “on my good days,” or “not when my pain flares up and I have to lie down?” Abbott recommends applying by telephone. Ask them to send you the forms, and take plenty of time to answer each question completely.

Understanding Disability Benefits – The Series

  1. I Can’t Hold a Job! What Do I Do? – Introduction
  2. What is Disability?
  3. Do I Qualify for Disability?
  4. Is Bipolar Disorder a Qualified Condition for Disability?
  5. How Do I Start My Disability Application?
  6. What Information and Paperwork Do I Need?
  7. What Happens with My Application?
  8. How Long Will It Take to Get Benefits?
  9. What Benefits Will I Get?
  10. Who Can Help Me?

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