When you suffer a disabling injury or illness that leaves you unable to work, you may need to turn to Social Security to help make ends meet. There are several ways you can apply for SSI, but unfortunately, there are also many missteps and mistakes to avoid. Many people find that their initial application is denied for some relatively minor error. Learn some of the common pitfalls people experience when filing for disability, and what you can do to avoid them.

Filing for Disability

Today, most people file for social security and disability online via federal and state websites. There are also, however, in-person and phone processes for filing for disability. This makes it generally easy and accessible for most people to find a way to put in their application.

Be Thorough

When putting your application together, make sure that you provide all the documentation required. You will need, among other things:

  • Social Security Number
  • Current identification
  • Birth Certificate
  • Any military discharge paperwork
  • Most recent tax return documents

When you start the process, be sure to take the time you need to research exactly what documents you will need to show your need and eligibility.

Be Timely

While statutes of limitations are generally attached to such things as workers’ compensation, the longer you wait to file for social security, the more likely your application will be questioned. As soon as you encounter a disabling injury or illness, you should start the process of filing for SSI and SSDI benefits.

Talk to an Attorney

Talk to a qualified SSI attorney. This really can’t be stressed enough. Many people avoid speaking to a lawyer, thinking that either they can handle the process themselves, they don’t need representation, or a lawyer may be too expensive and cut into their needed benefits. None of these are, strictly speaking, true. Many people who file for SSI the first time find their initial application denied. They then have to go through the process of challenging the denial and fighting to get benefits. Often this is because of a simple error somewhere in their application—an error that could have been avoided had they spoken to an attorney in the first place. These unfortunate folks then find themselves in a position where they have to talk to a lawyer anyway, and this delays the process of getting benefits.

If you talk to an attorney as soon as you consider applying for SSI, SSDI or state benefits, you will find that:

  • Your initial application will go more smoothly.
  • You are less likely to make mistakes that can complicate the process.
  • You may find you’re eligible for more than you originally thought.
  • You won’t overlook important benefits or necessary paperwork.

If you are in need of SSI and SSDI benefits, don’t wait, and don’t try to achieve them alone. Read a bit more about how Social Security in Illinois works, and give us a call for more information today.