There are many common myths about Social Security disability benefits. These misconceptions often leave those in need of benefits confused about what they qualify for and what to expect from the process.
Find out the truth behind these myths.
Myth: Everyone gets denied for disability benefits the first time.
Fact: While many people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are denied the first time, it is absolutely not true that everyone will be denied. About 35% of applications are approved the first time around.
Myth: If my doctor’s report says I have a disability, I am guaranteed benefits.
Fact: Detailed medical records are a key part of your disability application, but a doctor saying your disabled is not necessarily a guarantee that your application will be approved. Having a detailed, thorough documentation of your condition certainly increases your chances of approval, but it is not the only consideration.
Myth: SSDI benefits will be the same as my work-related income was.
Fact: Social Security disability payments are meant to help people with basic needs, not replace work income 100%. The average monthly payment in 2015 is $1,258.
Myth: If I’m approved, I’ll start getting benefits right away.
Fact: When your application is approved, it can take several months before you start receiving your payments. It’s important to note that the Social Security Administration will pay back benefits; however, benefits do not begin until the 6th full month after it is determined that your disability began.
For example, if you receive a letter from the SSA saying that your application was approved and that your disability date is set January 1, then your first payment would be for the month of June.
Myth: You can’t apply for benefits unless you’ve been disabled for a year.
Fact: To qualify for benefits, your disability must be expected to last for a year or more. There is nothing to say that you have to wait until that year is up before applying for benefits. In fact, Social Security lawyers advise applying as soon as your doctor determines that it is likely to be a year or longer before you are able to return to work.
Myth: Once you qualify for SSDI benefits, you will continue to receive them for the rest of your life.
Fact: Even after your benefits are approved, the SSA will review your condition periodically. If your condition improves and you are found to be able to work, you could lose SSDI benefits.
However, Social Security disability is designed to be a long-term benefits program and for those whose disability will continue for the rest of their lives, they may continue to receive benefits until reaching retirement age. At that point, their Social Security disability benefits would stop and they would begin receiving regular Social Security retirement benefits.
Don’t let these myths about Social Security disability keep you from getting the benefits you deserve. Contact The Law Offices Of M. Stanley Whitehead today for assistance from a Houston Social Security disability lawyer.