APPLYING BY TELEPHONE
We generally discourage our clients from applying by telephone if they are able to apply online. We do not participate in the phone interview. Thus, we cannot review the information you provide to the Social Security Administration [“SSA”] before it is submitted.
If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income [“SSI”] AND Social Security Disability [“SSD”] benefits, a phone interview will be required. That will occur after the online application has been reviewed and submitted.
The SSA representative will call you on a date and time that we will schedule for you. If the SSA representative does not call you within one hour of the time scheduled, call SSA at (800) 772-1213. They should be able to help.
We do not participate in your telephone interview with SSA. Please tell SSA, however, that we represent you.
SSA will send you a one page “worksheet” so that you can collect the information you will need for the interview.
The telephone interview is simple. The SSA representative will ask you many of the same questions we asked you when we met. Be sure to know the date we are claiming that you first became disabled.
To determine whether you are eligible for SSI, you may be asked personal financial questions (e.g., how much money do you have in the bank?). Answer these questions as best that you can. If you receive a letter from SSA before the interview indicating that your SSI application has been denied, this is probably because you have too much income (e.g., from Workers’ Compensation or Unemployment) or other assets to be eligible for SSI.
After the telephone interview, you will receive a document from SSA which summarizes what you told them. Be sure that it is correct. Be sure to send a copy of that document to us.
APPLYING IN PERSON
We generally discourage our clients from applying in person at their local SSA District Office. In our experience, the SSA representative may form some impressions about you that are unfair based on how you look and how you conduct yourself. For that reason, we typically DO NOT ADVISE that you apply in person.
If you choose to have an in person interview with the SSA District Office, or if this is one of those rare occasions when we recommend it, be sure to bring picture identification and your ORIGINAL birth certificate.
TYPICAL QUESTIONS ASKED WHEN APPLYING (BY TELEPHONE OR IN PERSON)
Your name, gender and social security number;
Your name at birth (if different);
Your date of birth and place of birth (State or foreign country);
Whether a public or religious record was made of your birth before age 5;
Your citizenship status;
Whether you or anyone else has ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or SSI on your behalf;
Whether you have used any other Social Security number;
Whether you were ever in the active military service before 1968;
Whether you or your spouse have ever worked for the railroad industry;
Whether you have earned social security credits under another country’s social security system;
Whether you qualified for or expect to receive a pension or annuity based on your own employment with a governmental employer;
Whether you are currently married and, if so, your spouse’s name, date of birth (or age) and social security number (if known);
The names, dates of birth (or age) and social security numbers (if known) of your former spouses (if any);
The dates and places of each of your marriages and, for marriages that have ended, how and when they ended;
The names of any unmarried children if they are: (a) under 18; (b) either age 18 or 19 and in high school; or (c) disabled and under age 22;
Whether you have a parent who was dependent on you for at least 1/2 of his/her support at the time you became disabled;
Whether you have filed, or intend to file, for workers’ compensation;
The name(s) of your employer(s) or information about your self-employment and the amount of your earnings for this year and last year;
Whether you received or expect to receive any money from an employer since the date you became unable to work;
Whether you have any unsatisfied felony warrants for your arrest;
The date you became unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions; and
Whether you are still unable to work.