Do I Have to Go to the Social Security Office to Apply for Benefits?
There is no doubt that the Social Security Disability application process can be confusing, if not downright-overwhelming, for many disability applicants. Many people do not even know where to begin the Social Security Disability application process. A question that many would-be disability applicants ask is whether or not they actually have to go into their local Social Security office to apply for disability benefits. Some are unable to leave their homes and worry that they cannot obtain benefits because they cannot make it to the Social Security office for an appointment. Fortunately, an in-office appointment is not required to apply for the disability benefits you need.
To begin your Social Security Disability application, you do not have to go into the local Social Security office. Disability applications can be started either online, over the phone or at the local office, if you prefer. To apply for Social Security Disability benefits online, you will need to go to the Social Security Administration's website and begin the online disability application process provided there. If you wish to apply for disability benefits over the phone, you can do so by calling 800-772-1213 to begin applying for your Social Security Disability benefits. You can also go into your local Social Security office to apply in person if that is what you prefer, but you do not have to go to the Social Security office to get your application started.
An In-Person Appearance May be Necessary
Even though you do not need to go to the local Social Security office to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important to understand that you may need to go to the local Social Security office to conduct an interview. In some cases, this interview may be conducted over the phone so you may not have to make an in-person appearance at all. Just be prepared in case you do.
In some situations, the Social Security Administration might request that you undergo a consultative exam. At this exam, a doctor will be determining the scope of your disability and will be providing information to the Social Security Administration regarding his or her findings. While this exam will not be conducted at the Social Security office, you will have to make an in-person appearance to have the exam conducted.
Which Method of Application is Best?
There really is no “wrong” or “right” way to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. If you prefer to file your application online, then the website claim process will not increase or decrease your chances of a disability award letter. The same is true for both phone and in-person disability claims. While a phone claim or online claim may decrease the processing time by a few days because you will not have to wait for an appointment at your local office, the overall outcome of your case will not be changed based upon your method of application.