How Do I Apply for Benefits?

Your Initial Application for Social Security Disability Benefits

If you think you are qualified to receive Social Security disability benefits under any of the programs described on this website, you should apply for those benefits as soon as you can. The sooner you start, the sooner you may receive the benefits to which you are entitled. The Social Security Administration makes the process fairly easy to start, although there are several steps in the application process. You can apply online at the Social Security Administration’s website, on the telephone, or at a local Social Security office.

Before beginning your application, you should gather the information listed below. Having this information available when you begin your application will save much time. If you cannot obtain some of the items, the Social Security Administration may be able to help you:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Birth Certificate
  • If you are a military veteran, your form DD-214
  • Names, addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers of all doctors, hospitals, clinics, social workers, and therapists where you have received care or advice about your condition.
  • A history of your medical treatments and examinations, including dates, where possible.
  • A list of all medicines you are taking and their dosages.
  • Any medical records that you have on hand regarding your condition.
  • Laboratory and test results, if you have them.
  • A summary of where you have worked and the kinds of work you have done.
  • A copy of your most recent W-2 Form or your tax return from the past year if you are self-employed.

Applying Social Security Disability by Telephone

You can begin your application by telephone. Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. In that call, you can schedule an interview by telephone or at your local Social Security office. If you are hard of hearing, you can use your TTY machine to call 1-800-325-0778 to schedule an interview.

Before the interview, you will receive a Disability Starter Kit in the mail. The kit, containing some forms and information, will prepare you for the interview. Be sure to examine it as soon as it arrives and gather all the information you need for the interview well in advance of the interview date. For most applicants, this is the simplest way to begin an application.

Applying Social Security Disability Online

You can also begin your application for Social Security disability benefits online using your home computer. Begin by going to the Social Security Administration website, then select Disability Benefits on that page. You can begin your application at any time and will be able to come back and work on the application forms using the re-entry numbers you have provided by the website. When you are finished, you will be instructed to print your application form and either mail or deliver it in person to your local Social Security office. If you are comfortable using the Internet, you may find this online application process to be your best choice.

Applying Social Security Disability in Person

You can locate the nearest Social Security Administration Office by going to the Social Security Administration Office Locator and entering your ZIP code. In Minneapolis the SSA office is located at 1811 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55404, and in St. Paul at 190 5th Street East, Suite 800, St. Paul MN 55101.

If you go to the SSA office, you will be able to schedule an interview at that office at a later date. Please note that Social Security offices are very busy and you may have to wait a long time to speak to someone. It is better to make an appointment by first calling SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

What Happens After I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Expect a considerable wait for a decision about your application. All facts in the application will be checked, and a state agency working with the Social Security Administration will obtain additional information from your doctors and other medical services. You may also be asked to have additional medical examinations, paid for by the Social Security Administration, to further evaluate your condition. This process usually takes about three months but in some cases can take longer. If you apply online, you can check the progress of your application on the Social Security Administration website. If you applied in person or on the telephone, you will be able to call to check on progress. You’ll need some patience.

What if My Application Is Denied?

You should not be surprised or discouraged if your initial application is denied. Over 70% of these applications are denied. If that happens, you must act within 60 days to appeal the denial. At this point, you should seek legal representation to make sure all deadlines are met and the proper appeals are made. Don’t delay and miss a deadline.

Greeman Toomey PLLC – Your Social Security Disability Attorneys

No matter how you apply for Social Security disability benefits or which program you apply for, contact Greeman Toomey PLLC immediately if your initial application is denied. In our 20+ years of exclusive practice in this area of the law, we have represented thousands of clients in their fight to get the disability benefits they deserve. We are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the Social Security disability process. Contact us for a free initial consultation. If your case has merit and you choose to retain us, we will put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf. We represent you on a contingency basis. If you do not receive benefits, we do not charge you for our services.