While there are several different ways to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, online applications offer the most convenience. If you choose to apply for benefits using the Social Security Administration’s official online forms, you are able to start your disability claim immediately without the need to wait for a scheduled appointment.
HOW TO APPLY ONLINE: Visit www.socialsecurity.gov and select ‘Apply for disability benefits.’ Once there, you will see an easy-to-follow four-step process (http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/) outlined for you. These steps include:
1. Review the Adult Disability Checklist (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/hlp/radr/10/ovw001-checklist.htm) – this is a detailed list of the information you must have ready in order to apply online. The information includes, but is not limited to: dates of marriages and divorces, names and birthdates of your minor children, a list of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them, and any information about insurance or workers’ compensation claims you have filed.
2. Complete the Disability Benefit Application (https://secure.ssa.gov/iCLM/dib) – this is the formal application that you will complete online either for yourself or for someone else. The Social Security Administration estimates that filling out the application will take you between 10 and 30 minutes. You are given the option of saving your application along the way to allow for taking breaks.
3. Complete the Adult Disability Report – this is a document that accompanies the official application. This report will require you to provide detailed information about your medical history and current conditions, treatment and doctors, education background, and employment history. For more details on how the online disability report works click here. (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/hlp/radr/10/global-report-works.htm)
4. Complete the Authorization to Disclose Information form (SSA-827) – You have the option of doing this electronically as part of your disability report, or you can print and mail the form to your local Social Security office.
For more information on applying for benefits online and what information to gather before you start, read through the Social Security Administration’s page on applying online for disability benefits. (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10550.html).