Disability benefits are a great way to cover the costs of medical bills and every day living expenses if you suffer from a disability or medical condition and are unable to work. To start receiving benefits, you have to apply for them with the Social Security Administration (SSA) either online, over the phone, with the help of an attorney, or in person at your local SSA office. Fortunately, there are many SSA offices throughout the country to make an in-person application as accessible as possible.
Offices in Each State
If applying for disability benefits online isn’t possible for you, or a desirable choice, you most likely have an SSA office in your area that you can visit for help and more information. In fact, the SSA has around 1,200 offices, and there is at least one in every state.
Whether an SSA office is conveniently close to you or a long drive away, there may still be factors that make it so that you are unable to leave your house. Perhaps transportation is an issue for you, or the disability you are applying for benefits for in the first place may be keeping you housebound, such as a physical disability or agoraphobia, the mental fear of leaving your house. In cases such as these, there are still options available to you for applying for disability benefits.
You can schedule a phone interview with a claims representative (CR) at your local SSA office in the same way as with any regular in-person interview. Be sure to be at your telephone at the scheduled time and have all of the required documentation and information you will need for your interview. This includes:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of citizenship
- All relevant medical and treatment history
- Employment history
- Military discharge papers
- W-2s or other tax forms
- Medical forms
- Pay stubs
- Proof of assets and other income
Tips for an Efficient SSA Office Visit
The SSA has recently closed some of its many offices and cut back on hours in an effort to save funds. This means that you should be as prepared as possible for your disability interview in an effort to make your trip to the SSA office as quick and efficient as possible. You can do this by:
- Doing as much online as possible. Many people may not know that you can find a lot of the answers to your questions about disability benefits online, whether it be on the SSA’s website or other disability benefit information websites.
- Gathering all of the necessary documents and information. As mentioned in the list above, be sure to have your medical and employment history, documentation, and other personal information with you for your appointment so the CR can complete your interview and pass on your application for processing.
- Scheduling an appointment in advance to minimize waiting time and make sure that there is a CR available to help you with your application.
Hire a Lawyer or Advocate
Although not necessary at the beginning stage of the disability benefits application process, you can hire a lawyer or advocate to help you with your application and file your claim with the SSA. You can start this process by filling out this free evaluation form.