We live in the age of the Internet where almost anything can be completed online. We shop online, we communicate online and some of us even watch TV and movies online. Similarly, you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online.
Thus, the question is, are there any differences between applying for Social Security Disability benefits the old-fashioned way and applying for Social Security Disability benefits online? Before you submit your online application for Social Security Disability benefits, there are some things you should know.
Determining Eligibility for Disability Benefits
Many people go straight to the Social Security Disability application when applying for Social Security Disability benefits online. However, there is a tool you should use before you begin the actual application process if you are unsure that you qualify for disability benefits.
When considering whether or not to complete an application for Social Security Disability benefits, you can consult the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool available on the Social Security website.
This tool is not an actual application, but it will help you understand whether or not you may actually qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability program. The process only takes about five to ten minutes and it can provide you with valuable information about your Social Security disability eligibility.
The Convenience of Applying on Your Own Time
Filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits online can definitely make the application process easier. However, it is important to understand that your application for Social Security Disability will not end with the online application.
You will still need to fill out the required forms, provide adequate documentation of your disability and go through the application review process.
What You Need to Know When Applying for Disability Online
If you prefer to apply for Social Security Disability benefits from the comfort of your home, there are a few things you need to know. First and foremost, before you sit down to fill out the Social Security Disability application, make sure you have access to all of the information you will need in order to apply for disability.
This information includes details about your identity as well as information about the medical basis of your Social Security Disability claim. You will also need information about your earnings for the previous year and the current year as well as your Social Security Earnings Statement.
Finally, you may want to have your bank account information on hand if you want your Social Security Disability benefits deposited electronically to your bank account.
Once your online application for Social Security Disability has been completed, you will need to print out some forms and send them to the Social Security office. These forms include the Adult Disability Report and the necessary medial release forms.
These forms cannot be filled out online and must be sent into the office. If you do not mail these forms to the SSA, the Social Security office will not be able to process your application for Social Security Disability benefits and your claim will be denied.
Does It Make a Difference If You Apply Online or In Person?
Many people assume that applying for Social Security Disability benefits online will result in a faster approval process. This is not necessarily the case. The amount of time it takes to process your Social Security Disability application will depend on your specific disability case.
While applying for disability online can save you the few days time it would take to set up an appointment and apply in the office, it does not reduce the time that it takes for the Social Security Administration to review your claim for Social Security Disability benefits.
Other Options You Have
While the online application for Social Security Disability benefits is quick and convenient, it is not for everyone. Certain cases do not qualify for the online application process.
If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability for a child, if you are a convicted felon or if you do not live in the United States, you cannot use the online application to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
A Matter of Preference
Whether you apply online for your Social Security Disability benefits or in person at the Social Security office is completely up to you. The application method you choose will have no impact on whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
If you are more comfortable applying from home, then use the tools available to you and apply online. If you prefer applying in person at the Social Security Office, then forgo the online process and call to set up an appointment for a Social Security Disability interview.