Applying for SSD, SSI or Child’s SSI

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Steps for Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Child’s SSI

Haven’t yet applied for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD), SSI or Child’s SSI because you are unsure of how to do so, scared or fearful of the process? Here are some tips to help explain and ease the process:

The process to file an application and the overall process can be long and overwhelming, and it may be intensified while a person is ill, may be lacking in medical care and has no income for an extended period of time. You may apply for Social Security Disability (SSD), SSI or Child’s SSI for your child in one of the three following ways:

1. Setting up a Phone interview:

You can call the national SSA phone number at 800.772.1213 and request to have a phone interview scheduled for you. They are open from 7:30 A.M. until 7:30 P.M., and you generally have less wait time in the evenings and mornings. After you have dialed the number it is a highly automated system. When you get in touch with a representative, inform them that you’d like to set up a phone interview to apply for SSD, SSI or Child’s SSI (whichever one applies to your situation). You will generally get a phone interview appointment scheduled within approximately two weeks, and they will mail you a packet in the mail prior to the appointment. The interview takes on average thirty-five minutes, depending upon which program you are applying for. Make sure you are by the phone up to thirty minutes prior to the interview because they sometimes call early. Also, if you have a minute phone make sure you have at least forty-five minutes on your phone. The interview will go more smoothly if you have all of your treating doctor’s contact information with you and ready to be provided to them.

If you are unable to drive to SSA due to your health conditions or for any other reason and do not have access to a computer, setting up a phone interview will probably be the most convenient way for you to apply for SSD, SSI or Child’s SSI benefits.

2. Online:

The most convenient and fastest way to apply is by filling out an application online at However, you cannot complete the application online for SSI and Child’s SSI. You’ll need to follow up with the financial questions portion at your local SSA office, or you can do the full application at your local SSA office, see the section below. Yet, you can call SSA’s national number at 1.800.772.1213 and set up an appointment at your local SSA office to reduce the wait time.

3. Going to your local SSA office:

If you are able to drive or have someone drive, you may also go to your local SSA office and filling out an application with the assistance of someone at SSA. In lieu of going and just waiting for your number to be called, you can also contact SSA at 1.800.772.1213 to schedule an appointment at your local SSA office. If you do not know where your local SSA office is located, go to and at the bottom left-hand side of the home page has a zip code office locater. You type in your zip code, and it will provide you with the address of your local SSA office.

After you have filed your application, it generally takes on average four (4) months to receive a decision in the mail. There is no specific time frame under law in which you will receive your decision. The decision will be mailed to you; thus, it is very important to make sure that your mailing address and phone number are up to date at all times.

Before or after applying for SSD, SSI or Child’s SSI, should you decide to hire our law firm who represents people in Tampa and Clearwater/St. Petersburg and surrounding cities, you will have a licensed attorney, not a non-attorney representative, attend your hearing with you and handling your case. If you believe we may be able to assist you, you may contact us for a FREE consultation by filling out our online form or call us at (727) 822-7121, and attorney fees are paid only if your case is won; there is no up front cost to you, except Cessation cases.