While “I am helping someone who wants to apply and is with me” is no longer a separate option, SSA continues to encourage advocates to assist individuals with the Online Disability Benefit Application.
Moving forward, the Online Disability Benefit Application will begin with agreeing to a Benefits Application Terms of Service. Then:
If you are assisting with the application and the applicant is with you, choose “I am applying for myself” and answer the questions as the applicant would answer them.
1. The applicant will be asked if he or she has a My Social Security account and an address in the United States or U.S. Territories
If the applicant selects “yes” for having a My Social Security Account, the applicant will be prompted to sign into his or her account.
If the applicant selects “no” for having a My Social Security Account, but does have an address*, he or she will be directed to a page to create an account.
If the applicant does not have a My Social Security Account and does not have a U.S. address, the next page will ask for the applicant’s demographics and basic disability questions, before progressing with the online application.
* Note: If the applicant uses the SOAR representative's agency address to file his/her application online, the applicant will be able to electronically sign the application. However, his/her identity may be verified over the phone or in-person.
2. After this step, applicants will be guided through the disability benefit application process, including electronically signing the application.
If you are assisting with the application and the applicant is not with you, the second option needs to be checked.
Remember that the applicant must be present to electronically sign the application and the SSA-1696 does not provide authority to do that in his or her absence.
If the applicant is not present during the electronic application, SSA will mail it to him or her for verification and signature.
If you have any questions or experience difficulties with this process, please contact your SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Liaison.