Initial Application for Social Security Disability

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

In order to apply for Social Security disability benefits, you have several options. If you are applying for SSDI only, Viner Disability Law can file an initial application for you, or you may file an application online, file over the phone with the help of one of Social Security’s customer service representatives (1-800-772-1213), or schedule an in-person interview with an SSA field representative at a local Social Security office. However, if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to apply via an in-person interview with a local field representative as you cannot file for SSI online or over the phone.

Whether you apply online, over the phone, or in-person, you will need to compile certain information about your prior employment, medical treatment, income records, medication dosages and schedules, and your personal information, such as your Social Security number and proof of your date of birth.

Shortly after you file your initial application for disability benefits, the SSA will send you two forms that you must complete in order for your claim to be properly adjudicated. One of these forms is referred to as a Work History Report. This form will ask you to provide significant information about your past jobs, including your compensation level, your duties, why the job ended, and physical and mental requirements of the job. This form is primarily aimed at evaluating the types of work that you have engaged in during the past fifteen years before you became disabled and no longer able to sustain full-time gainful employment.

The second form that Social Security will require you to complete is commonly known as an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) form. This form will ask you numerous in-depth questions about your daily life and how it has been impacted by your physical and mental disabilities. Social Security will use this form to evaluate what kind of functional limitations you have developed as a result of your disabilities.

How Viner Disability Law Can Help

Viner Disability Law can help initial applicants win their claims for disability benefits in numerous ways. In addition to helping clients file for disability benefits online (SSDI only), our attorneys will review and submit your Activities of Daily Living and Work History Report forms to the SSA to ensure accuracy and to ensure  the SSA truly understands the severity of your disability.  In respect to activities of daily living, many clients will not provide comprehensive responses that leave room for incorrect assumptions to be made. For instance, some clients may state on this form that they are able to cook and prepare meals for their families when in reality they only use the microwave a few times each week to heat up television dinners because using the stove and oven has become too stressful and complicated as a result of their mental impairments. If a client only provides that he or she is able to cook meals, Social Security could assume that this means the client is able to consistently complete simple and complex tasks, a conclusion that could potentially harm the client’s claim for disability benefits. In addition to helping our clients with the application process, Viner Disability Law will connect with your doctor to obtain statements related to your functional limitations which will further support your case.

Decision Timeline

From the date of filing, the typical waiting time for a decision from Social Security on an initial application for benefits is six to twelve months. While some claimants may be approved in only three or four months, we find that six months to one year is a more realistic expectation.

Contact Us

If you are interested in filing an initial application for Social Security disability benefits or would simply like to learn more about SSDI or SSI, please contact our office by filling out a contact form or giving us a call.