SSA Disability Made Easy: Filing Online

Nearly three million people each year file a claim for social security disability. In the old days of typewriters and reams of paper, there would be lines out the door of the SSD office in order to accommodate all these folks. Today, those who wish to file their claim can do so online. Of course the bureaucracy may not be dead, but the online age has made this entire process much less of a headache. Having said that, online filing is still a bit of a process, so here are some tips on how to get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Get the Info

The process of completing a SSD application is not one that can or should be done in a freewheeling manner — good prep work is a must. It’s vital to first gather the requisite data necessary to file the claim. The good news is the SSA offers an online “starter kit” of sorts that covers all the forms and materials a person needs to present when applying online.

Complete the online application

Once all the pre-planning has been taken care of, it’s now time to fill out the actual online form. The next thing to do is fire up the computer and navigate to the Social Security Disability page of the SSA website. The average time for a typical applicant to complete the process is 30 minutes. Once this is completed, the applicant will need to provide certain documents: a work history form, a medical history form and a signed medical release form. The SSA accepts photocopies, which can be mailed directly to the office. However, if the office requests a birth certificate, as they have sometimes been known to do, the original copy must be provided.

Participate in the interview

Unfortunately, the one part of the process that has remained from the pre-Internet days is the applicant interview. Those who complete an application for SSD benefits will then have to schedule an interview, which usually takes place at the local office of the applicant. But in some cases the interview can be conducted over the phone.

Keep time in mind

As mentioned above, bureaucracy isn’t dead. The applicant is not only going to have to consider the time it takes to fill out the form (30 minutes), but the time it takes to process the application as well. Typically, applicants will receive word about whether or not they have been approved or denied in three or four months. Those who are approved will be provided the total amount of the award as well as how much he or she will be receiving each month. Those applications that are denied will come with written reasons as to exactly why the SSA made their decision.

There are many cases where the applicant, even after following the above steps to the letter, has his or her application rejected. In this case an appeal may be warranted. However, it is highly recommended that the applicant retain the services of an attorney qualified in disability law. This ups the chances of filing a successful claim considerably.

James Goldman is a professional blogger that understands and provides information for social security disability and veterans disability claims cases. He writes for the Law Office of Debra J. Venhaus, an experienced disability benefits lawyer.