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How to File a Social Security Disability Application?

You have three options for filing your social security disability application: online, on the phone, or at your local office. It’s up to you what method you use, but I’ll outline the pros and cons of each below.

If you choose to apply online, simply go to https://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/ and follow the instructions. Keep in mind that if you use this method, there will be no one there to help you. It’s all on you to get everything filled out. Also, the online method seems to take people longer than doing it over the phone or in person. Therefore, I generally recommend against filing online. However, this method has the convenience of not having to leave your house. If you have difficulty with fatigue, you can save your work and come back to it so it has some built in advantages.

Another method is to call Social Security’s toll free number and follow the menu options to file a social security disability application. The number is 1-800-772-1213. With this method you’ll eventually at least get a human being on the other end of the phone to help you if you get stuck with a question on the application. If Social Security needs any documents from you, you still might  have to go to your local office to drop off the documents and talking to someone on the phone can lack a personal touch.

The third method for filing a social security disability application is to go to your local office and file in person. You can find your local office by going to www.ssa.gov/locator. Enter your zipcode and the website will give you the address and telephone number for your local office. For some offices, this online tool just gives you the generic toll free number for social security I listed above. For other offices it actually gives you a local number. You can use this local number to schedule an appointment to file your application. You can also just show up in person to your local office and wait in line to file your application. If possible, you should probably call for an appointment, so you don’t spend hours down at your local office waiting your turn. If you do choose to go in person, you should pay attention to the hours. Local offices are open from 9:00 to 4:00 every weekday except Wednesday. On Wednesday they all close to the public at noon. Please do not show up on Wednesday at 1:00.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all three methods for filing for Social Security Disability. Personally, I like to look an actual human being in the eye when I do anything. People are kinder and more helpful when you are sitting directly across from them. However, it is up to you and all three methods will get the job done.