For decades, people have said that we are entering a paperless society. And yet the power of paperwork to make or break a situation remains. One area where that is especially true is for New Jerseyans seeking Social Security disability benefits.

Too often a valid claim is rejected simply because of errors or omissions with the paperwork accompanying the claim. Skeptical? Don’t be: More than half of SSDI claims get rejected the first time they are filed. Many of these requests will ultimately be approved. A common reason for the high initial rejection: Missing or improperly filled out paperwork. Any mistake can give the Social Security staff the excuse they are looking for to bounce the application from their system.

New Jerseyans can draw a lesson from the high rejection rates – Assemble all the forms, fill them out thoroughly and then buttress them with supporting documents like medical records and treatment notes. Take the time to complete the process right the first time because gaps and half-answers will only result in having re-submit the claim again.

But sometimes that is easier said than done. Some questions in the form can be difficult to understand nonetheless answer. Other times it is hard to know if enough medical information has been provided.

New Jerseyans who want the peace of mind that comes from knowing their claim is being handled by an expert may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced disability attorney. Doing so could be the first step towards avoiding the repeated rejections that plague many New Jerseyans applying for disability benefits.