I often get told by clients in rural areas that they waited to apply for SSI or Disability benefits because they thought they would be required to travel into Grand Rapids or Lansing to personally appear before the Social Security Administration. This is not true. There are other options for disabled individuals seeking to apply for SSI or Disability. You can apply by phone, or you can apply online by going to http://www.ssa.gov/pgm/getservices-apply.htm.
To apply for benefits by phone, you will need to call the Social Security Administration. To contact the national automated services center, please call (800) 772-1213. This is usually the easiest way to get in touch with a live person – but you will experience some discomfort navigating their voice response menus. Otherwise, you can contact your local Field Office . Almost all of Ionia County is served by the Grand Rapids Field Office, except for the Portland area. Here are the telephone number to the Field Offices:
Grand Rapids – (877) 319-5710
Lansing – (877) 512-5944
I usually suggest that people call to set up a phone interview right away. Social Security calls the day you requested an application interview your “Protected Filing Date.” In simple terms, it means that if you call on December 31, but your appointment is not scheduled until January 15, Social Security treats December as your filing date when calculating your past-due benefits.
If you live in Ionia, Portland, Belding, Clarksville, Hubbardston, Lake Odessa, Lyons, Muir, Pewamo, Saranac, or any of the Ionia County townships, please consider applying for Social Security Disability or SSI by using the phone or the internet, it’s easier that driving into Grand Rapids or Lansing.
If you have any questions about applying for Social Security in Ionia County, please contact my office for a free and confidential consultation by calling (616) 527-9700. B. Thomas Golden, PLC is happy to help disabled individuals apply for benefits.