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How to fill out a Social Security disability claim online.

Online application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is often the fastest method for initiating a claim, but it is important to understand that filling out the required forms online may not be the only step you must take to complete your application.

Collecting required documentation

Before starting your application for benefits, you should collect all of the documentation you will need during the application process. Having these documents handy when filling out online forms speeds up the process. It also allows you to ensure the information you provide is accurate, complete, and consistent.

Use the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) checklist to ensure you have the documentation you need to complete your application.

Submitting an application online

The SSA allows you to complete an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits online. You can start the application at any time without having to wait for an appointment with the SSA. You can also save it and return later to complete the process if you need to take a break or investigate additional details for filling out any part of the application.

If you need to stop at some point during the application, be sure to save your work and record your application number or reentry code before leaving the SSA’s website. You will need this information to log back in and finalize your application forms.

The online application walks you through all the required forms for an SSDI claim. Some of the questions may feel repetitive, but be sure to fill out each with a thorough, detailed, and accurate answer. Do not leave any question blank, even if it is a question that does not apply to your claim or to which you do not know the answer.

Enter “does not apply” or “I don’t know” as your answer. Leaving questions blank causes the SSA to have other questions and/or to delay your claim.

If you must also apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, keep in mind that you will need to schedule an appointment to complete a separate SSI application with an SSA representative. Call 1-800-772-1213 to schedule your SSI appointment. Be sure to collect all the necessary documents for submitting your SSI application. Be sure to have as much medical documents and proof to support your application as possible.

Following up after applying

You will sign a release form during the online application that allows the SSA to contact your doctors and others to gather necessary information regarding your claim. Providing the SSA copies of records you have in your possession can speed up the review of your application though. You can mail or drop off copies of documents at your local SSA office. Find your local office here.

In addition to applying online, you can also check the status of your application after you submit it. If you are denied benefits, you can appeal the SSA’s decision online as well.