The United States is in a recession. Sometimes Americans need some extra help if they become disabled or retire. Social Security is a federal program that can help people. This program pays retirement Social Security benefits monthly to citizens. These benefits can come in the form of a check or be direct deposited. This program also assists disabled citizens who cannot work full time due to an illness or disability. To begin the application process, a person should either visit their local office or try the website online. Visiting the local office can be a frustrating process as lines can be lengthy. Consider going early in the morning or just applying from the privacy of your own home. The online application can take about an hour to complete. If visiting the local office, make sure to maximize the trip. Take the necessary documents with you. Do not forget to take a birth certificate, social security card, photo identification and any medical documentation such as doctor addresses and phone numbers if applying for SSDI. SSDI stands for social security disability income. This type of benefit is for those that are disabled or have a terminal illness that prevents them from working such as diabetes, cancer or even some mental illnesses such as bipolar, ADHD or depression. When applying online it is a good strategy to have all of this information available as a person will need it for the application. Once the application is submitted the process begins. Approval can take time. The wheels of Social Security do not turn fast by any stretch of the word. Be patient a decision will come by mail in a few weeks. Many times social security will request more information for a disability claim. They will need proof that a person cannot work. Some claims are easier to approve than others. For instance, a person with a terminal illness will be easier to approve than a person suffering from a mental illness such as anxiety or depression. If the decision arrives and is denied, do not fret. Most claims are denied initially. An attorney may need to be sought for assistance with the appeal. Finding one is not difficult. Talk to family and friends, search the internet or even watch television as there are hundreds of options to choose from with regards to legal representation. Applying for social security is not difficult. Be organized when applying as otherwise the claim will be slowed down. If denied the first time, do not worry. Find a good lawyer to represent the claim. Do research and locate one that can assist the situation and has experience doing such. Be patient as social security does not move fast in its approvals. Finally remember any benefits will be paid once approved back to the application date so it will not cause harm if it takes a while for an approval.