According to a recent article from Everyday Health, there are many myths that mislead people, in terms of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and what will happen after being awarded disability benefits.
This first myth listed is that it is not worth applying because you will just be rejected anyway. While it is certainly true that a large number of claimants will have their applications denied initially, this does not mean you should not bother to apply.
As our Boston Sociality Security Disability Insurance benefits attorneys can explain, even if your application is initially rejected, you can eventually be granted a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), and, at that hearing, your attorney can present evidence that supports your right to disability benefits and challenge any opposing claims made by a vocational expert (VE) during the hearing.
As for actual numbers, recent data suggest that around 33 percent of applicants are initially approved. So the vast majority are initially denied, there is around a one-third chance you will be accepted on the first try. This is certainly worth giving it a try.
The second myth discussed in this article is that Social Security Disability Income benefits will replace most of your income. This is a common misconception held mainly by those who apply for disability benefits and are not really disabled and would rather sit at home and collect a check than work. Not only is that not representative of the vast majority of those who receive Social Security disability benefits, the amount awarded must be less than an employee earned each year prior to becoming disabled. This was established on purpose, as Congress was concerned it would be more profitable to be disabled than to work.
Another common myth is that if your doctor says you are disabled, then you will qualify for benefits. This is not necessarily true, because your doctor is giving his or her medical opinion as to whether you are disabled and can or cannot work. While it would make sense that your physical and medical ability to work should be enough to justify a finding of disability, the Social Security Administration uses a rigid set of guidelines to make a legal determination of disability. The ALJ will look at a book entitled Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) that was created in the 1970s and is significantly out of touch with reality.
Yet another common myth is that once you are on SSDI benefits, you will be qualified for life as disabled. While this is often true, it is not necessarily always the case. A lot has to do with whether a doctor, after a periodically required medical examination, says that your condition is likely to improve. With a diagnosis of likely improvement, you will often be required to undergo a review of disability every six months or so for around a year and half to see if you are still disabled.
While there were several more common myths about Social Security Disability Insurance benefits listed in the article, the important takeaway is that you should not believe everything you hear, and you should consult with an experienced disability benefits attorneys to learn the truth.
If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
10 Myths and Facts About Social Security Disability Insurance, August 26, 2015, Everyday Health, by Kathleen Doheny
More Blog Entries:
Rand Paul Says Many Receiving SSDI Benefits Gaming System, Jan. 27, 2015, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Blog