8 Misconceptions About Social Security Disability Benefits
Applying for social security disability insurance (SSDI) can be stressful. Being unable to work is bad enough, but add that to the misconceptions and different information swirling around about SSDI just compounds your situation. It is important to find a social security disability lawyer to help you wade through the complexities of applying for benefits. The following are some the myths surrounding SSDI:
- Disabled Because Your Doctor Says So
Social security relies on a lot of medical information from your various doctors. The standards they use require much more than just having your doctor think you are disabled. Additionally, you should speak with your doctor to see if they believe you are disabled. Social security will request records from them, so you want to make sure they are consistent. People do not get approved for benefits based on one doctor’s opinion. There are complex rules and determinations made based on all the information you provide to them.
- SSDI will Replace All of Your Income
Social security benefits will only replace part of your income. It should not be relied upon to replace all the wages you were making before you became disabled. However, it will help ease the burden of paying bills and supporting yourself.
- Everyone Gets Denied the First Time
While many people get denied when applying for benefits the first time, not everyone does. People believe this fallacy because only about 30% of applicants get approved the first time. Approval is based on the evidence provided to social security and the disabling condition that is presented. There have been many cases where benefits were awarded within months of the application. However, the law is complex, and every case is different, so except for a few automatically approved conditions, benefits are not a guarantee.
- SSDI Benefits Start Right Away
When approved for benefits, the first six months are held back. You will begin receiving benefits for the sixth month after your effective date of disability. So, if you get approved right away, you may need to wait a few months before you receive benefits. However, if you had to appeal, you will have accrued back payments, so benefits will start sooner, and the waiting period will be deducted from the back money.
- SSDI is a Short-Term Benefit
Social security is based on a disability that is expected to last more than twelve months or result in death. It is not designed for a disability that will only last a few months. Other programs, like short-term disability benefits through an employer or workers’ compensation benefits may be an option for a disability that will last a shorter period of time.
- SSDI is a Government Handout
Social security is based on money you paid into the social security system while you were working. It is based on wages earned. There are other programs, like SSI that are based on need.
- Alcoholics and Drug Abusers Cannot Get Benefits
As long as the disability is not caused by the addiction, it is still possible to get benefits for a disabling condition. Social security evaluates whether the disability would remain if there was no addiction. Sometimes, the addiction is a consequence of a mental condition that could qualify you for disability benefits.
- You Cannot Work and Collect Benefits
While you cannot work a full-time, gainful employment and collect disability benefits, you are able to work. There is a threshold that cannot be exceeded while collecting social security disability benefits. However, your disability benefits will not be taken away if you make under a certain amount of money per month.
So, make sure you utilize a social security disability lawyer. We can answer all your questions. Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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