Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

Although a First Coast Social Security disability lawyer can help you tremendously if you are appealing a denial of disability benefits, you must first get the ball rolling on your claim by applying for benefits. If you are disabled, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits over the internet, over the phone, or by visiting your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Before Applying You will also be asked to complete a “Disability Report” before you apply. The “disability report” is a form in which you describe how your disability prevents you from working. Applicants under 50 will also have to explain how their disability prevents them from working at any job they’ve had over the past 15 years and from working at an easy full time job now. No matter how you apply, make sure you answer all the questions the SSA asks you, both verbally and in the forms, as accurately and as thoroughly as possible, and do not exaggerate your disability. Applying Over the Internet Your first option for applying for benefits is visiting the Social Security Administration’s website at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/. You cannot apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) online. However if you do apply for SSI by other means, you will be able to fill out one of the required forms, the “Adult Disability and Work History Report,” through the website. Applying Over the Phone You can apply over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213. The SSA will likely be unable to take your application right when you call. Rather, you will likely be making a phone appointment. An SSA representative will call you when your appointment arrives and take your application then. The SSA will then mail you a completed application for you to verify and sign. You may also use the same process to apply for SSI. Applying by Visiting an SSA Office You will need to make an appointment if you wish to apply for Social Security benefits or SSI in person. To schedule your visit, call 1-800-772-1213 and a Social Security representative will help you make the appointment, give you directions, and tell you what documents you’ll need to bring to your appointment. If you have a physical or mental impairment that keeps you from working, please call First Coast Social Security disability lawyer John Fagan for a free evaluation of your claim.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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