The application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits appears straightforward. Completing and submitting the necessary forms should move things along. Recently, a new requirement went into place, and it affects the application process. California residents and others must meet new signature requirement rules. For some, the requirements appear onerous.

The new rules reveal that all applicants for SSDI must submit a hard-copy application along with an ink-signed signature. No alternative online option exists, which is not the case in every government agency. For example, with taxes, someone can e-file a return or submit a hard copy. Millions more seem to prefer the online option since it could move the process along faster. Persons applying for SSDI would likely prefer a more expedient option, but current rules and regulations are what they are.

Some claim the hard copy/ink signature requirement violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Also noted are the potential breaches to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Government Paper Elimination Act. To change these requirements would require a lawsuit unless the rules are changed the same way they underwent implementation. That is, a new executive order rescinds an old one.

Applicants file for SSDI when they cannot work due to a disability. The application process involves submitting proof, such as medical records and other materials. After an initial review, an application gets approved or denied. Appeals and hearings could follow a denial.

Complaints about the hard copy/signature requirement revolve around burdens placed on the application. Someone injured and suffering from mobility restrictions may potentially have a more challenging time completing the application.

The rules point out that an applicant can work with a representative to complete the Social Security Disability application. Perhaps hiring an attorney may be wise as filling out the forms and submitting a thorough application could help move the process along.