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How Do I File for Disability Benefits

Jan. 31, 2022

People often call my office looking for a disability attorney and one of the first questions they ask is, "How do you file for Social Security Disability benefits?" In this blog, I will explain to you how to file for SSD benefits and/or SSI benefits and what information you will need to complete a disability application.

The first step in filing for Social Security Disability benefits is to file the application. There are currently two ways you can file an SSD or SSI application. Prior to Covid, there was a third way you could file by going into your local Social Security office; however, Social Security offices are still not open due to the extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic. That leaves us with two options available to file a disability application.

The first way to file an application is to go online to and follow the proper steps to get to a new disability application. An application for SSD can be completed 100% online while an application for SSI benefits can be 95% completed online. The last 5% of an SSI application must be done over the telephone with Social Security and it consists of an asset test. Since SSI benefits are based on a person's disability as well as their financial situation, Social Security will need to determine what kind of assets a person who applies for SSI has. This includes whether the individual owns stocks, bonds, mutual funds, 401K, life insurance policies with a cash value, checking accounts, savings accounts, property, and vehicles. For an individual filing for SSI, you must have assets below $2,000.00 and for a married couple the asset limit is $3,000.00. Social Security will exclude certain assets a person owns like a house if they live in it and one vehicle if it is their primary mode of transportation. Please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to discuss whether you may meet the SSI asset test.

If you decide to file a disability application online and want an expert disability attorney to file the application for you, please contact me. People who have attorneys file their application get approved for benefits at a much higher rate than those who file on their own. One of the reasons for this is that I know exactly how to word an application so that it gives you the best opportunity to be approved for disability benefits. Taking advantage of my 22 years of filing SSD and SSI applications can make the difference in whether or not you are approved for disability benefits.

The second way you can file an SSD application or SSI application is to call your local Social Security office to set up a telephone appointment to file the disability application. The problem with this method is that someone who works for Social Security will be wording the application and they may not word it in a manner that is most beneficial to you. If you have an expert disability attorney like Justen Grech file your application for you, you will be ensured that your application is worded in the best possible way for your unique situation.

Either way you file a disability application, the process after the application is filed is the exact same. I will be posting a new blog soon explaining the disability process following the filing of an SSD application or an SSI application. Or, please call my office and I will be happy to explain the entire Social Security Disability process to you for free!