Flow chart by Dylan Lonergan and Zayd Alsardary
Reflection (small text out of courtesy to people trying to quickly scroll through posts):
Zayd and I investigated the process behind obtaining social security for disability. While one also obtains social security for retirement, there are also special accommodations for people who are disabled. Compared to other times one might deal with the government, obtaining social security is a fairly simple and straightforward process that just takes a lot of time.
The social security website itself was a great deal of help in understanding this process. It was unquestionably the most valuable resource. In fact, most of our process involved reading the website and interpreting vague phrasing. The small website gives one a magnificent idea of how to go about applying for social security.
As for paperwork, Social Security has largely done away with it. There are three ways to apply: online, by phone, or by visiting a social security office. Visiting the office would result in receiving paperwork, but you can just as easily apply by the other methods, and all of them ask the same thing: social security number, information, address, job, medicine and medical issues, etc. etc. Fairly straightforward information that can (mostly) be answered without thought. You do need correct information though, since it calls you out on it if you're wrong. I played around with it last night (after this post was submitted), and I couldn't get the online form to accept my information. Mr. Anson Fullerton unfortunately cannot apply for social security.
There is one thing I would change about this process, though: it takes awhile. It takes a long time. Six months after approval is when checks start being sent. This is after a potentially lengthy process during which the application is evaluated.
Although applying for social security is fairly easy in comparison, the systems of other federal processes are horribly complicated and can be pretty obnoxious for no adequate reason. One must wonder how the systems got so ridiculous. It's possible that things were designed this way to weed out those too unintelligent to figure things out, but the existence of ways to receive help rules that right out. It doesn't have to be that complicated. But, because there are so many requirements and so many regulations, you need to run around in circles until you figure things out.