People in California who are seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration may not obtain benefits from their initial claim. If this occurs, they should understand what steps to take next. This requires that they know the difference between submitting a new disability claim and filing an appeal for a disability claim.

Claimants who file a new disability claim should expect to complete more paperwork and wait a longer time than it would take to appeal an SSI or SSD denial. Filing a new disability claim requires individuals to complete a new disability application online, by phone or in person at the nearest Social Security office.

For claimants who opt to complete a new claim online, a claims representative from their local Social Security office may have to contact them again if they are filing for SSI disability. This is because the SSA does not currently offer an online application for SSI disability.

Individuals who submit a new application will also have to submit a completed disability report so that their medical and work information will be on file. After everything has been completed, claimants will have to submit a printed, completed and signed medical release before their claim can be forwarded to DDS so that a decision can be rendered.

For people who opt to file a new claim in person or by telephone, their application and disability report will be completed by a Social Security claims representative. If the application is filed in person, the representative will also obtain a medical release from the claimant.

An attorney who handles SSD cases may assist clients through the process of applying for disability benefits. The attorney may advise clients of their options if their initial application has been denied and may advocate for clients during appeal hearings.