1. Social Security Administration Home Page: https://www.ssa.gov/
Put this website on the top of that list of things that the government does well. It is well organized. It has search tools. There are links to detailed answers for hundreds, if not thousands of questions. You can file a claim, file an appeal, figure out your benefit amount, change your address, and dozens of other things that used to require a time consuming visit or phone call to the local field office. (You can also get to this page with this address: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/.)
2. Disability.gov: https://www.disability.gov/
This website will exceed your expectations. Organized. Accessible. Searchable. Links to real answers to your questions. News that is relevant to persons with different abilities. Discover benefits and services that you did not know existed such as: National Park Service Access Pass for disabled persons, Guide to Financial Help for Low-Income Individuals and Families, Employers’ Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans, to name just a few. You could spend hours and hours on this website.
3. my SSA Account: https://socialsecurity.gov/myaccount
You can set up a personal account to do the following: Get your Social Security Statement, to review estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits; your earnings once a year to verify the amounts that were posted are correct; and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. If you are receiving benefits, you can do these things: request a replacement Social Security card if you meet certain requirements; get your benefit verification letter; check your benefit and payment information and your earnings record; change your address and phone number; start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment; get a replacement Medicare card; and get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.
4. Bluebook also known as Disability Evaluation under Social Security: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/
This is called the “Bluebook” because it used to be a blue book that doctors, clinics, and representatives kept at their desks to review the medical criteria for meeting the “Listing” for a particular impairment. If a medical or psychological impairment meets the criteria in the listing for 12 months or more the impairments are presumed to be disabling. Listings change from time to time, so this online version is valuable to any professional who deals with the Social Security definition of “disability.” Since many private disability insurance policies use the Social Security definition, this resource is also a valuable reference in the private insurance sector.
5. Redbook also known as The Guide to Work Incentives: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/redbook/
This is called the “Redbook” because it used to be a red book that educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities used to stay informed about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs. You can download a copy in .pdf format. This resource will help you learn about:
- Subsidies and Special Conditions
- Unsuccessful Work Attempt (UWA)
- Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE)
- Examples of Deductible and Non-Deductible IRWE
- Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)
- Who Can Help You Set Up a Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)?
- Examples of a PASS
- Ticket to Work (TTW)
- Continued Payment under Vocational Rehabilitation or Similar Program (Section 301)
- Expedited Reinstatement (EXR)
6. Benefit calculator: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/download.html
This downloadable tool created by The Office of the Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration produces the Social Security benefit for an old-age, survivor, or disability claim, given the characteristics of a particular worker (such as birth date, past earnings, and type of benefit). It also produces the "primary insurance amount" (PIA), "maximum family benefit", the actuarial reduction or increment factor (for early or delayed retirement), and the monthly benefit amount (MBA).
7. SSA Publications: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/
Think of this as the ultimate brochure rack. Every SSA publication is there. Always in stock. Always up to date. These brochures can be downloaded as .pdf or audio files or printed. You can browse by topic, search by key word, or get a copy of the newest publications. Here are some examples of the January 2016 releases: Special Payments After Retirement; Your Retirement Benefit: How It Is Figured; and You May Be Able To Get SSI.