How to Start Applying for Social Security Disability

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Artwork: Zeraph Dylan Moore

Welcome. It’s a great thing that you are reading here right now. Because right now, early at the beginning, is the very best time when you can make the very biggest difference to help your disability case.

Many people find that it is hard to make the mental leap to start the process. If you are too sick to continue working, in time you may come to feel that applying for disability was one of the most important things you ever did to help yourself.

You have a bumpy and interesting road up ahead. Please be good to yourself, take care of yourself, reach out for help, and try to remember you are doing something to improve your life.

How to Apply

There are two ways that most people get started. Pick the one that works for you:

Option A: Prepare

The typical disability application takes three years before you get your first check. Some people find they are able to get approved much more quickly by taking steps to improve their documentation before they apply or right after applying. A friend or family can help you, or you can do it on your own if you are well enough.

Option B: Apply Right Now

You can jump right in and apply any time you want. You can apply in person, online, on the phone or on paper. If you have trouble with forms, you have a lot of options: you can hire a lawyer, you can get free help at a local nonprofit, or you can make an appointment with a case worker at your local Social Security office. After you apply, you can still follow up and do more things to improve your application. It’s never too late!

Am I eligible?

Most people are eligible to apply. If you are not sure, you can just go ahead and apply and see what happens, or you can take a look here: How Do I Know if I am Eligible to Apply? If someone told you that you cannot apply, or you have some reason to think that you cannot apply, please take a look here: “Someone told me I’m not eligible”

What else can I apply for?

There may be other forms of disability you can also apply for, such as disability from your state, or disability insurance through your employer: How to Apply for Disability 17 Times There are many many other programs that may be able to provide other kinds of and services help while you are applying: How to Get Help While Applying for Disability

Should I apply now or wait and see?

We’ve met a lot of people who have applied for disability. We’ve heard a lot of stories. A lot of hard stories and a lot of hard luck stories. Here’s one story we’ve never heard: “I should have waited.” No one ever regrets applying too soon. If you are on the fence about applying, read Bluebell’s story. Be Like Bluebell. Also, please take a look here: Should I Apply Right Now or Wait and See?

Updated Oct 2017 🌟

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