You can start your application for Social Security disability online, on paper, in person, or through a lawyer. Here’s the low down on how and where to find each of these things:
ONE: APPLY ONLINE
You can apply online on the Social Security website.
TWO: APPLY ON PAPER
You can print out the forms and fill them out. The forms you want are: SSA-16-BK, Application for Disability Insurance Benefits, SSA-3368-BK, Adult Disability Report, SSA-3369-BK Work History Report and SSA 827-BK Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration.
THREE: APPLY THROUGH A LAWYER
Someone from the lawyer’s office will meet with you, ask you all the questions on the forms, and then fill out the forms. It’s still a good idea to learn about the questions yourself, if possible.
FOUR: APPLY IN PERSON
You can call Social Security and request an appointment to apply for disability. At the appointment, the caseworker will ask you the questions, and then fill out the forms for you. Hint: Make sure to schedule an appointment. Do not just walk in or you will be waiting the rest of your life.
FIVE: APPLY ON THE PHONE
New applications are usually completed in person. If you are unable to get to your local office, you can request a phone appointment instead. It may be helpful to request this as a disability accommodation.
SIX: APPLY THROUGH SOAR
🌞 If you are homeless or at-risk for homelessness, see if there is a SOAR program in your area. This program is way better than any of other option. SOAR provides a unique kind of help, they have an incredibly high success rate, and most people are approved in three months. Many (but not all) SOAR programs only work with people who have diagnosis of serious mental illness.
SEVEN: GET NONPROFIT HELP
You can contact nonprofits in your area and ask if they have anyone on staff who assistance with filling out disability applications or if they can recommended an agency that provides this service. Try contacting: Disability groups, Senior centers (even if you are young), Agencies on Aging (again you can be young), Homeless agencies, and legal assistance groups. Dial 211 on your phone or click above to see what is in your area.
How Can I Get Approved Quickly?
🌞 The typical disability application takes three years. If you don’t want to wait three years, take a look here: How to Greatly Improve Your Disability Application Before You Apply
Am I eligible?
🌞 Most people are eligible to apply. If you’ve somehow gotten the impression that you might not be, don’t give up hope just yet. Read more: How Do I Know if I am Eligible to Apply?
Updated Oct 2017. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.