Social Security is moving forward with new technology, and in many ways this is good news. They have started a paperless application process that is faster, and will prevent files getting lost. If you file a new application now, the entire application is kept in an “electronic folder.” It keeps copies of all the forms in a format similar to a PDF document.

The unfortunate aspect of the new electronic paperless push is Social Security is asking their customers to do more of the application themselves by using the internet. They want people filing for disability to use the new electronic online Disability Report form. Don’t have a computer? No problem according to management, you probably have a friend or relative you can impose on to accomplish filling it out. Or maybe you can go to the public library. Don’t have computer skills? No problem, just do it anyway!

I don’t think this is a good idea unless you are very good at using new computer programs, and you have a lot of patience, and you have your own computer. Instead I advise you to get your hands on an old fashioned paper form, the Disability Report form, SSA-3368.

Here’s a link to the form. SSA-3368 You need Adobe Acrobat to open it.
Here’s a link to the guide for completing the form. SSA-3368 Guide.

If you really want to try it, this is the link to the online form on the Social Security website. Electronic version of the Disability Report form SSA-3368

Why am I so against use of the electronic form? Because if you do complete the form, the interviewer has to go through the entire program and fill in all the missing information. If you complete a paper form and submit it at an in person interview, the interviewer will have time to go over the form with you. If you just submit the form electronically, they have to find time to call you and ask the questions, and there’s no guarantee management will give the interviewer enough time to call you.