To file a claim for Social Security Disability, there are three different ways that you can do it. One is you can go in person to your local Social Security Office. If you’re going to do that, we recommend that you call and schedule an appointment. Social Security has limited their hours for their local field offices; so there are some afternoons that they are not open. They may be closed one day a week, and you don’t want to go down there and find out they are closed or that you’re going to have to sit there for four hours while you wait your turn. So call and make an appointment. You can also call and make an appointment to do the whole interview over the phone. They will call you at a specific time. They will ask you all the questions. They will get the information from you, and you don’t ever have to go down there.
The other way you can file a claim is online, but you can only file a claim online for Social Security Disability Insurance. You cannot file a claim online for SSI benefits. So if you’re going to file for SSI benefits, you have to do that either in person or over the phone.
Now, if you want to file a claim for VA compensation benefits, you have got to somehow notify the VA that you want to file a claim. They have a claim form online that you can download and print and fill out and mail in to them. Then you can go to their website portal and set up an account. You can file your entire application online, but for a lot of people, using the computer is not an easy thing for them to do because they ask a lot of questions. If that’s the case, the first thing you want to do is just send a piece of paper to the VA regional office in your state saying, “I want to file a claim for benefits.” That’s all it has to say, and tell them how to contact you. They will get in touch with you by phone and letter, and they’ll help you get the paperwork that you need for the type of claim you want