Applying for disability benefits at the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be challenging. An individual may feel overwhelmed with the various forms to be filled out and the numerous questions to answer. However, the process can be simplified with the right tips and guidance. Therefore, here’s a comprehensive guide that discusses things to know before applying for SSA’s disability benefits, including which forms to fill out and how to apply.
The additional forms
Most people know that the SSA-16 form is the primary application form that individuals must complete to apply for Social Security disability benefits. However, many individuals may not know that SSA-16 is not the only required form. The government may require applicants to fill out additional forms to provide details. These additional forms include the following:
- Form SSA-3373-BK: This form refers to the ‘function report’ form. It requires the applicant to mention how their condition or disability affects their ability to work and their daily activities. A few daily activities it asks about include dressing, bathing, caring for family or pets, etc.
- Form SSA-3369-BK: This form refers to the ‘work history report’ form. In this form, the applicant must provide details about their work history, including previous job positions and responsibilities. Additionally, the form requires information on how the applicant’s current condition prevents them from performing their previous work duties.
- Form SSA-821-BK: This is the ‘work activity report’ form. It requires the applicant to mention their income and if they have spent money on items or services related to their condition (like a service animal).
What to mention and what not to mention
When filling out the application form for SSA’s disability benefits, an individual needs to know what to write. For instance, one must only write about the disabilities or conditions a medical professional has diagnosed. Additionally, the condition will only be considered relevant if it directly affects the individual’s ability to work. Therefore, they must avoid mentioning other symptoms or conditions that might not be relevant to the application. The applicant must avoid exaggeration and answer the questions concisely.
Make sure all the details are up-to-date
Individuals must also ensure that all the details they provide in the form are accurate and up-to-date. This includes details such as work history, contact details of their doctor, etc. If any of this information is outdated, the SSA may be unable to verify the authenticity of the application. As a result, the individual may face a lot of inconvenience in getting their application approved.
Ways to submit the application
Applying for the SSA is a simple and direct process. They have provided several options for individuals to submit their forms. These options include the following:
- Through the SSA website: One can simply visit the official website of the Social Security Administration. Under the ‘Benefits’ tab, one will find the ‘Disability’ option, where one can submit their forms.
- By calling: Individuals can also call the toll-free number of the SSA to request a submission of their application. The number is 1-800-772-1213 and is available Monday through Friday.
- By visiting a local SSA office: One can also visit their local SSA office and submit their applications in person.