Six Myths About Applying for Social Security Disability
The process of applying for Social Security Disability gets a bad rap, but a lot of what people believe to be true about Social Security Disability is nothing more than myth. It's important to get your facts straight before initiating the application process because it could make the difference between winning and losing your claim. Here are the top 6 myths about applying for Social Security Disability. 1. Everyone gets denied the first time they apply for Social Security Disability The percentage of first-time applications that get denied is high (around 70%), but if you submit all of the documents that the Social Security Administration requests, as well as sufficient medical evidence, there's a fighting chance that your application will get approved. To maximize the chances of approval, consider hiring legal help. 2. It's better to file a new application than to file an appeal This is untrue. If your first application gets denied, your second application will most likely be denied for the same reason. Statistics show that most applicants are awarded benefits after attending a hearing with an administrative law judge, so if the initial application gets denied, find legal representation and file an appeal. 3. You do not qualify for benefits if you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol If you have abused drugs or alcohol in the past, you are not automatically disqualified from obtaining benefits, but your application will not be approved if your medical records show that drugs or alcohol abuse caused or worsened your condition. You will have a better chance of winning your case if you have been sober for at least six months and you can prove that your alcohol/drug addiction is irrelevant to your medical condition. 4. If you have a listed medical condition, you will get automatically approved If you have an impairment that is listed in Social Security's Blue Book, it will be slightly easier to get your application approved, but approval won't be automatic, either; there has to be sufficient medical evidence supporting your claim. Even if your medical condition is not listed in Social Security's Blue Book, you can still be awarded benefits as long you can prove that the symptoms have rendered you unable to work. 5. You do not qualify for benefits if you've never worked In some cases, you can qualify for benefits, even if you've never worked. For instance, if you have been disabled since childhood and your disability was determined prior to reaching the age of 22, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on your parents' Social Security payment history. If you became disabled as an adult, you may still qualify for benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (S.S.I.) program, as long as your household income and assets meet SSI requirements. 6. The application process takes years It's true that some claimants have had to wait months or even years to receive a decision regarding their application, but that is not always the case. Oftentimes, it is possible to receive a decision in just a few months. If your condition qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance (CAL) program, your claim will be expedited. In fact, it can take as little as 20 days to receive a decision under the CAL program.