Application Process

When should I/can I apply for Social Security?

You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you have determined that you can no longer participate in any substantial work activity.  The disability application process is very long and can take up to 18 months for a final determination to be made.  For this reason, it is important to apply for disability benefits the moment you realize that you can no longer work.

How do I apply or submit a claim for Social Security disability benefits or SSI?

Initial Application can be filed in 1 of 3 ways:

  • In person at your local SSA Office
  • Over the phone by calling: 1-800-772-1213
  • Or online at www.ssa.gov (Part I Disability Application; Part II: Disability Report)

If you are denied, the next step is an Appeal for Reconsideration.  If denied again, you can appeal a second time and Request a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.  The best chances of winning a social security disability claim are at the hearing level.

If you would like to also apply for SSI benefits, you need to call 1-800-277-1213 to file a separate claim.