Myths About SSD

The Social Security Disability Insurance program involves an extensive network of administrators, Appeals Councils, Disability Determination Service workers, and Administrative Law Judges. Through every stage of the process, from application to multiple levels of appeal, it is important to have a clear understanding of how the system works. Your SSD attorney can provide insight into the application and appeals process and help separate fact from fiction. Following are some of the commonly shared myths about SSD.

In order to file for benefits, you must have been unable to work for a minimum of one year.

You may file for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits at any time. It is suggested that disabled persons file as soon as possible if their disability is expected to last for 12 months or more. Persons with terminal conditions do not have to meet this requirement. Since decisions typically take 5 months or longer, so filing right away can help you receive a decision — and hopefully get your benefit checks started as soon as possible.

If you have paid Social Security taxes for many years, you are entitled to receive SSD benefits.

Simply having a long work history where you paid into Social Security is not enough to qualify you for benefits. You must also a) meet the disability requirements, b) have worked five out of the last ten years, and c) meet specific earning requirements based on age.

Applicants who meet the disability requirements don’t need a lawyer.

Even if you are clearly disabled and your medical documentation accurately reflects your physical or mental impairments, errors can happen during the SSD application process. Physicians may fail to order definitive testing, fail to provide the necessary documents, or make oversights on your paperwork. An SSD attorney can make sure your application or appeal is completed with precision, and that your work history and medical history are clearly communicated.

If your condition improves and you start working again, SSD benefits are discontinued.

There is a period of adjustment where you can try working without giving up your benefit checks. In many cases, disabled workers return to the workforce and soon realize they are not ready. Your attorney can provide you with detailed information on the Trial Work Period (TWP).

For answers to your SSD questions and more information on how the program works, please contact an SSD lawyer in your area.