SSD and SSI Myths
All New Social Security Claims Are Denied
This may be the most common misconception about Social Security Disability
Insurance, and while it is not strictly accurate, it is partially true.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives an average of 2.5 million
new claims for disability benefits every year, it is denies approximately
two-thirds of these. In 2011, the figure was 1.1 million. The face that
you have been
denied SSD benefits does not, however, mean that you will not eventually receive benefits.
There are four levels of appeal, and people who contest the decision to
deny will frequently be successful in obtaining benefits.
Social Security Disability Is Welfare
While programs like
Medicaid and food stamps are means-tested and are reserved for the indigent, the
reverse is true of Social Security Disability. In fact, someone who has
not been steadily employed is not likely to be approved for SSD. Eligibility
for Social Security Disability Insurance is based not only upon having
a qualifying disability, but also upon having accumulated sufficient credits
by working for a long enough period at a job where your wages were subject
to the FICA payroll tax, which amounts to more than 15% of what your employer
could pay you if the tax weren't mandatory. If you have had the misfortune
of being forced out of work due to a disability, it is your right to claim
the benefits you have been helping to pay for.
Only Certain Conditions Are Eligible for SSD
It is true that the SSA maintains a long list of illnesses and injuries
which are so severe that they are automatically qualified for coverage.
This list is not, however, exclusive. Provided that your condition makes
it impossible for you to continue working for at least a year or has been
diagnosed as being terminal, it should be qualified. In such cases, it
is important to ensure that the application for benefits includes ample
evidence and medical documentation so that the Disability Determination
Services examiner can clearly recognize the facts.
You Cannot Claim SSD and SSI at the Same Time
Supplemental Security Income is a means-tested program, you will not be approved for benefits if your
income and existing financial resources are above a certain threshold.
This does not mean that you will automatically be disqualified if you
begin receiving SSD benefits, and in fact many people are able to receive
both types of benefits.
I Don't Need an Attorney to Represent My Claim
This is actually true-strictly speaking. There is no legal requirement
that you hire an attorney to represent you, but if you are serious about
having your claim approved for the maximum amount with the least possible
difficulty and delay, you should retain legal representation. Indeed,
the SSA reports that 90% of claimants do have representation. An attorney
from Clawson & Clawson, LLP can assist you with every aspect of your
claim, from the initial preparation to resolving complications and even
representing you in a request for reconsideration or a hearing with an
Administrative Law Judge.
Don't take chances with the outcome of your case.
Contact us now for a free consultation and to begin working on your claim.