If you are filing for Social Security Disability benefits, a Detroit disability benefits lawyer may be able to help dispel some of the common myths. Applying for Social Security Disability can be a complex process, and there is a significant amount of misinformation out there. If you are too injured or sick to work, disability benefits can help you support yourself. By understanding how the process of applying for benefits really works, you can maximize your chances of success.
Myth 1: The Social Security Administration Never Approves First-Time Claims
While 70 percent of Social Security Disability claims are denied on the first application, 30 percent are still approved. The overwhelming number of claims that are not approved leads people to falsely believe that it is not even worth applying. While it may be overwhelming, your claim is not necessarily subject to automatic denial. It does often take several attempts to gain approval, but each successive application provides the opportunity to learn and submit a stronger claim the next time. In many cases, people who apply numerous times without success are simply not learning from their mistakes made earlier in the process. Filing the same application repeatedly is not likely to result in a successful claim. Filing an appeal, however, is much more likely to result in success. Your Detroit disability benefits lawyer may be able to help you in the appeals process.
Myth 2: New Claims Are Better Than Appeals
Filing a new Social Security Disability claim after receiving a rejection for the same condition and documentation is generally an unsuccessful strategy. The new identical claim is likely to be rejected for the same reason. People who have success upon a second or third application used the mistakes they made on the first application to their advantage. You have a higher chance of success if you make an appeal within 60 days of your first rejection. Finding legal representation at this stage maximizes your chances of success.
Myth 3: Alcohol or Drug Use Means Automatic Disqualification
Social Security Disability benefits may not be claimed solely on the basis of alcohol or drug addiction, but such addiction does not result in automatic denial. As long as the substance abuse is not a contributing factor to the central condition in the claim, it should not be grounds for denial. If, for example, you have cirrhosis of the liver that is directly related to alcohol use and would likely improve if you were to stop drinking, your claim would be denied. However, if you suffer from an unrelated liver condition, your claim would not likely be affected.
Myth 4: You Are Not Eligible If You Have Never Worked
Your eligibility for Social Security Disability is based on the work credits you have paid into the Social Security system over your career. However, you may still claim benefits even if you have never worked. If you were diagnosed with the condition before the age of 22, your eligibility is based on the work history of your parents. You may also be eligible for need-based payments through the Supplemental Security Income program. SSI benefits are intended to help those with disabilities that has prevented them from working throughout their lives and who have limited income.
Myth 5: The Social Security Disability Application Process Takes Too Long
While applying for Social Security Disability benefits can take weeks or even months, some claims are eligible for fast processing through the Compassionate Allowance program. This program covers applicants who suffer from one of 88 different severe disabling conditions and results in fast-tracking of their applications. A Detroit disability benefits lawyer may help you determine whether your condition meets these standards and qualifies for a fast-tracked application.
Myth 6: You Cannot Earn Income While on Disability
Many people incorrectly believe that you are not allowed to earn any income while on benefits. However, you are eligible to earn benefits as long as your income is below a certain threshold. In 2011, the threshold was $1,000 each month while performing a job that is not restricted by your disability limitations. The SSA will not lower your benefits if these earnings fall below a certain threshold.
Contact a Detroit Disability Benefits Lawyer
If you or a loved one is thinking of applying for benefits through the Social Security Administration, the process can seem complicated and intimidating. Consider contacting Marc J. Shefman today at (248) 298-3003 for a consultation on how you can effectively pursue disability benefits. Social Security Disability payments can make it possible for you and other disabled individuals to earn enough to offset the losses caused by your disabling condition. There are many restrictions and requirements, but it is possible to receive benefits on the first try. Due to these pervasive disability myths, many people mistakenly believe that it is not worth applying at all. Instead, consider contacting a Detroit disability benefits lawyer for assistance.