There are three major parts of the Social Security disability application. The actual application is first, second is the disability report that provides medical background details along with information about your work experience and education, and third is medical releases.
All can be completed online and Social Security hopes that people use the online application. With that said, if going online is not for you, make an appointment (national toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). With some exception, appointments are received by local offices based on zip code and you have the option of an appointment by telephone or at the SSA office.
Whatever method is used, a little advance preparation will help you understand the application process and make you better prepared to complete all parts of the application. See the SSA disability planner section or read Disability Benefits, SSA publication 05-10029, online or available the national toll-free number or any SSA office.
Before starting the online Social Security disability application, you will see a page with a short “helpful hints” video and other information.
The disability application covers basic information about yourself. It does not ask detailed information about your disability. Here you will provide identifying information including your name, Social Security number and address. To help see if family members might be eligible through your record, expect to be asked about your marriage(s) and children, if any. This information also helps show if you might be eligible for SSA benefits through the record of anyone else. Other questions are asked too.
Specifically about disability, on the application you are asked what the disability is and when it began. It is important to include all your medical problems but you will not be asked for details on the application.
To be discussed another time, the separate form for your medical background goes into the details.
Note that the online application is only for Social Security benefits. People cannot file the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application online.