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Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits By Phone

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I want to tell you about how to apply for social security disability benefits over the phone, which is the most common way to apply. I suggest that you apply for benefits over the phone, at least at this point. Obviously there are other ways to apply; you can do it in person or you can do it over the internet; however, while I think the internet way is going to become the most common, at this point, it's still a little bit unreliable and I think you're better off using the telephone system. Social Security probably would not be happy with me to tell you that, but that's really the truth and that's why I'm recommending it to my clients at this point.

To apply for benefits, you can call Social Security's toll-free 800 number. That number is 1-800-772-1213. When you call that number, you will go through a series of voice prompts. For example, you will first be asked if you want to talk in English or Spanish. Then, you will be asked why you are calling, etc. It can get a little frustrating, but if you are patient with it, you'll eventually get to a live person who will take your claim over the phone.

When you reach a live Social Security representative, tell that person that you want to apply for BOTH social security disability and for SSI benefits. Now, you may not qualify for SSI, or perhaps you don't qualify for disability, but it's important, in my opinion, to tell the operator that you want to apply for both disability and SSI in the event that you are eligible for both. This is just to ensure that you don't miss out on any benefits owed to you. In the end, the SSA will let you know if you are not eligible for one or the other.

The second thing that you may be asked is when you became disabled. For answering this question, my best advice is to come up with the earliest possible date you think you became disabled by your condition, even if you were still working at that time. I say this because there are arguments you can make that basically say that you were disabled even when you were working - since at that time you were not considered a productive or reliable employee.

I've won cases based on this argument - I just won one recently where I argued that my client was still working but his work could not be considered substantial activity; while still on the job, he was not able to do all the requirements of the job and he was receiving special considerations. In addition, his pay was being docked in certain instances based on his lackluster performance. Therefore, we wanted to make sure he got reimbursed for this, so we argued that he was disabled even while still working. So, when you talk to the Social Security representative, be sure to think about the earliest possible date that you could be found disabled and give them that date.

Keep in mind you may not be asked this question at all, but it's just good to be prepared for if they do actually ask you.

Now, one thing I have heard is that if they find out you are still working, the SSA person will sometimes not take your application. So, if they ask you if are you are still working, the answer needs to be "no." And again, even if you're doing part-time work or you're doing on and off type work, I still recommend that you tell Social Security that you are not working if they ask.

In conclusion, when you call the SSA to make a claim for benefits over the phone, tell them you're not working, give them the earliest possible onset date of your disability, and tell them you want to apply for both SSI and Title 2 disability.

Jonathan Ginsberg has been practicing Social Security Disability law in the Atlanta, Georgia area for over 20 years. His website can be found at http://www.atlantasocialsecuritydisabilityattorney.net

 

Jonathan Ginsberg has been practicing Social Security Disability law in the Atlanta, Georgia area for over 20 years. His website can be found at http://www.atlantasocialsecuritydisabilityattorney.net

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