You can submit an application for disability benefits in person at your local Social Security office, over the phone or online.

The best way to apply, in my opinion, is online. You can complete the application from your own home. You can stop if you need to get more information or just take a break. And, most importantly, you are in control of the information you put in the application. The application can be found at https://secure.ssa.gov/iCLM/dib . Once you start the application you will see a screen with your Re-entry number on it. This is a VERY important number. Be sure to write it down and keep it in a safe place because if you stop the application you will need this number to get back into it.

If you call SSA at 1-800-772-1213, you can set up an in-person appointment date, get directions to the office, and find out what paperwork you should bring with you. You can also call to arrange for a phone call from the Social Security office. Remember that while the date is exact, the time is approximate. The person calling you will help you to fill out your application which will be sent to you for a signature.

Ensure that you give Social Security all of the information requested in a way that does not misrepresent your disability. Be honest. Don’t exaggerate your limitations OR your strengths. You want to tell Social Security all of the reasons that you can no longer work. Don’t focus on your good days. Tell them about the “bad” days because that is why you are not working.