On August 22, 2023, the SSA announced that they will no longer be accepting faxed applications. This is primarily because the option to fax an application was made available during the pandemic, but this option is no longer necessary and is regarded, as it was before the pandemic, as an unacceptable application. Disability benefits applicants can still apply for a disability benefit in other ways, such as by phone, in person at a SSA regional office or online.
Why is the SSA Not Accepting Faxed Applications?
The option to apply for disability benefits was made available during the Covid pandemic period to expedite claims when one of the original options available to claimants, i.e. applications in person, was not permitted. The Public Health Emergency due to the pandemic was officially ended on 11th May 2023, so the options for applying for a disability benefit have reverted back to what was permissible before the restrictions due to Covid were imposed.
The SSA regards faxed applications as mere photocopies and so they are therefore no longer permitted. The applications for disability benefits must be made on an original paper application or an online version and signed in person. Faxed applications do not show the applicant’s signature in inked form.
How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Application?
Valid applications must meet the following criteria:
- the application must be filed with the SSA;
- they must be filled in on the SSA’s prescribed application form;
- the applicant must be alive when the application was submitted, unless a written statement of intent had been made to claim disability benefits, or a title II disability application is filed within 3 months after the month of death, or a SSI oral inquiry was received before death;
- it must be signed beneath the penalty clause by the correct applicant.
How Else Can I Submit a Disability Application to the SSA?
If you wish to apply for disability benefits, you must use an approved method for doing so. The SSA’s own website makes it clear what the three main options are. These are as follows.
- Applications made in person at a regional SSA office; in this case, the form can be filled in at the office on the paper version and any supporting documents can be submitted at the same time.
- Applications made online using the SSA’s online form. Note that you will still need to print off the relevant part of the form and sign it, and then have the signed version notarized.
- Applications made over the phone. In this case, the phone interview is not a complete application, but mainly to ensure that you are applying for the right type of benefits, e.g. SSDI, SSI.
Also See: SSA Office Near Me
Get Help With Your Disability Claim
The SSA has always made it necessary to complete disability applications by approved methods. During the pandemic, when the Public Health Emergency was declared, a temporary relaxation of rules was made, allowing faxed applications to be submitted. This is no longer permitted. A disability attorney can help with any stage of the disability benefits application process.
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