- Working While Applying
- Disability Application Process
- Unemployment and Disability
- SSI Versus SSDI
- Over 50?
- Am I Disabled? Sedentary Work
- Do Age and Education Matter?
- Disability Determination Services
- Appealing Once You Have Been Denied
- After You Have Won Social Security Disability Benefits
- Acceptable Medical Sources
- Ability to Return to Past Relevant Work
- 6 Things To Make The Most Of Doctor Visits – PT. 2
- 6 To Make The Most Of Your Doctors Visits – Pt. 1
- Your Residual Functional Capacity.
- Disabilities Credibility Analysis
- Is My Disability Severe Under SSDI Guidelines?
- SSI, SSDI and Your Pain
- Fibromyalgia As A Social Security Disability
- Does Obesity Qualify As A Disability?
- Musculoskeletal Listing–Part I
- Completing The Function Report
- Completing The Function Report II
- Common Disability Forms
- Musculoskeletal Examinations
- Apply For Disability
- Spinal Disorders
- Non-Citizen Eligibility For SSI
- Joint Abnormalities
- Understanding Disability–Process Unification Rulings
- Medical Source Statements — Part 1
- Medical Source Statements — Part 2
- Unemployment Benefits Part II | Social Security Attorney
- Subsidized Work Environment–Disability Attorneys Boise
- Chronic Fatigue–SSR 14-1p
- Onset Dates — Social Security Attorney
- Denied Disability? Understand Why
- Consultative Examinations–A Review
- Medical Source Statements – Part IV
- Medical Source Statements — Part III
Myths about Social Security disability
When you apply for Social Security disability, you will find all sorts of myths circulating, especially on the internet. A Social Security attorney with our office can answer your questions and make the process easier by separating fact from fiction. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about Social Security disability.
Some people believe that everyone is denied Social Security disability benefits when they file an application, almost like Social Security has this rule so that you will be forced to appeal if you want disability. This is false. There is no such rule, although it’s easy to see where people could get the idea. On average, seventy percent of claims are denied on the first application. Keep this percentage in mind as you try to get disability benefits. It is not in your best interest to repeatedly file new applications instead of filing for an appeal. The goal is to get your case before a judge, because that is where you have the best chance of winning your case. There are some exceptions to this where you would want to file a new claim and you should consult with one of our disability attorneys if you have been denied.
Another common and incorrect belief is that you can’t work once you start receiving Social Security benefits. In reality, you can work as long as you follow the rules. Social Security simply requires that you are unable to go over the substantial gainful activity limit. This limit changes, so be sure that your information is current. For more about substantial gainful activity and how you can still work after receiving Social Security benefits, please see the article entitled Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security disability or you can call to speak with one of our attorneys. Working while you apply for disability is a different matter. If you are working part-time while you apply, be sure to speak with a Social Security attorney.
Some people also think that a letter from your doctor saying that you are disabled can automatically get you on disability. This is not true. Most of the time, doctors letters don’t impact the decision very much, simply because they are too short and they don’t have enough details and provide only conclusory statements. However, a good statement from your doctor (called a medical source statement) or a well written letter can carry a lot of weight in a hearing. To make sure that you are doing everything you can to improve your chances, be sure to be very specific with your doctor about your limitations. This way the medical source statement your doctor writes is detailed, objective and very specific when it describes your physical or mental limitations. Keep in mind that it is best not to talk to your doctor about your disability application outside of asking for a letter or medical source statement.
Another misconception is that there are certain limitations that will automatically get you approved for Social Security disability. This is false, although it does have a grain of truth in it. Social Security does have medical listing, but just because you have a condition that is covered by these listings does not mean you will qualify for disability under this listing. If you symptoms match one of these conditions, you could get approved for disability benefits more easily. However, with Social Security nothing is ever guaranteed or automatic, and each case is considered on an individual basis. The Social Security Administration will always look at your medical records and see if you can still do past or relevant work, regardless of your impairment. Also keep in mind that you can still receive benefits even if your impairment is not in the medical listings.
Another myth is that you can’t get on Social Security disability if you have ever used drugs or alcohol. Sometimes Social Security will use your use of alcohol as a reason to deny you benefits. However, that does not mean that you are automatically denied. Social Security asks the question: if you were to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol, would your condition improve? If your medical condition is caused—or even made worse—by the drugs or alcohol, and stopping would allow you to work, then the Social Security administration will deny you benefits. However, if your condition was caused by alcohol but you have already stopped and your medical condition is not getting better, you could still receive benefits. For example, if you have a liver condition that was caused by alcohol, but the damage is permanent.. If the drugs or alcohol is unrelated to your disability, then in theory it should not have any effect on the determination, but significant abuse will always be an issue.
Some people also believe that you will receive a decision on your disability claim in ninety to a hundred and twenty days. This is untrue. Cases can be won in as little as thirty days or drag on for as long as two years. Generally, the more serious your condition is the faster you will be approved, but there is no way to predict how long a case will take.
If you have more questions about any of the Social Security disability myths listed above or about any step of the disability process, please contact a Social Security attorney with our office.
Originally posted 2015-02-18 18:40:42.