We live in a world where many of us like to take care of things ourselves and feel like we don’t want to bother anyone by asking for help. It is an admirable trait to be self-sufficient; however, it may be in your best interest to ask for help from an experienced disability attorney and learn about the risks of applying for SSDI without a lawyer. 

What is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, is considered a federal “needs-based program.” This means that it is available for those who have a financial need, have a disability that prevents gainful activity, or are blind. There are financial parameters that must be met to be eligible for SSI benefits. You may qualify for SSI if you own less than $2,000 in total countable assets as an individual or $3,000 as a married couple living together. You can apply for SSI on your own, but we recommend that you seek the assistance of experienced our SSI lawyers in Columbia, MO

Applying for SSI On Your Own

For many, applying for SSI can be overwhelming, the process can be tedious, and mistakes are commonly made. One of the reasons it is challenging to apply for SSI on your own is due to all of the information necessary to be approved. If there is information missing or incorrect, you may be denied. Information required to apply for SSI may include:

  • Proof of your age and your Social Security number
  • Names and dosages of all medications you take
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of clinics, hospitals, doctors, and caseworkers that have taken care of you, including the dates of your visits
  • Laboratory and test results
  • Medical records from your doctors, therapists, clinics, hospitals, and caseworkers
  • A summary of your work history and the type of work you performed
  • The most recent W-2 form or a copy of your federal tax return if you were self-employed
  • Proof of marriage and dates or prior marriages

It can feel daunting to undergo this process on your own. There is so much information to provide to the Social Security Administration, and you want to be confident you are presenting it accurately. 

Dos and Don’ts When Applying for SSI


  • Do your best to gather as much documentation as possible to prove your medical conditions meet the SSA criteria for eligibility. 
  • Do request additional documentation when possible to strengthen your case, such as a statement from your healthcare provider. 
  • Do ask for assistance from an experienced disability attorney.


  • Don’t forget to consider child support as income unless it is directed to a Supplemental Needs Trust.
  • Don’t provide only dated medical records. Showing the history of your medical condition is good, however, the strength of your case is diminished if there are no current records.
  • Don’t rely solely on the Social Security Administration to secure the necessary information needed for your determination. 

Let The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill Help

Whether you are applying for the first time or need to appeal a denial, the disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill can help. Applying for SSI on your own might seem straightforward at first, but you will quickly discover a lot goes into the process. it is important to understand the risks of applying for SSDI without a lawyer and the common mistakes or missing information on the application that can result in a denial or reduced payments. The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill have filed hundreds of applications. Contact us today for a free consultation.