Myths About Applying for SSDI (and the Truth)
As a Memphis SSDI attorney, I know a lot of people have questions and misconceptions about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). We love to answer our clients’ questions, and in the process, we’ve found a few issues come up more than others. So here are some of the most common myths about applying for SSDI and the truth about how the process works.
You’ll Get Approved on Your First Try
One of the most pervasive myths is that SSDI applications are typically approved on the first try. In reality, the SSA denies the majority of applicants the first time around.
Reasons for denial vary. Some of the most common issues include:
- missing or insufficient medical evidence
- errors in paperwork, and
- lack of qualification (or not proving you qualify)
Fortunately, you can often reverse the decision through the appeals process. This takes additional time, but if you need SSDI, it’s more than worth it. And for the best chance of success, you’ll want to work with a lawyer.
One reason this myth is so costly is that people give up after their first denial or try to reapply over and over. But without working with an attorney to appeal the decision and fix the errors in your initial application, you’ll likely get denied again and again.
You Have to Be Totally Disabled to Qualify
You don’t have to be bedridden or otherwise totally disabled to receive SSDI benefits.
Instead, the SSA looks at how your disability has impacted your ability to earn a living. They consider whether you can engage in “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA. SGA means you can perform significant physical or mental activity that earns you an income.
To make this judgment, the SSA considers your work history, age, education, and skills. Many people with significant impairments still qualify, even if they still have the capacity to be self-sufficient in their personal lives.
Believing this myth, some people who need SSDI and who would normally qualify don’t even apply.
You Can’t Work While Applying for SSDI
You can work while applying for SSDI; however, your earnings have to remain below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. The SSA sets this amount every year.
Many people who receive SSDI are able to supplement their income through limited part-time work. In fact, many people find they have to do so, as their SSDI benefits don’t cover their total needs.
This is a complicated part of SSDI law, and as a result, we’ve written some material on working part-time while receiving SSDI. Here are three of the most relevant articles we’ve published, in case they help with your specific situation:
- Denied SSDI Because You Make Too Much Money
- Applying for SSDI and Ticket to Work
- What Is a Social Security Disability Trial Work Period?
An Attorney to Help You Apply for SSDI
If you need disability, you need an attorney by your side who understands the myths about applying for SSDI and can help you navigate the system.
Our Memphis SSDI lawyers figure out what went wrong with your initial claim, strengthen your application, and represent you through the appeals process, including in court. We stand by your side every step of the way and guide you through the process, so there are no surprises.
We also don’t make a penny unless we win your case. And even then, it’s only a fraction of your past-due benefits. You keep every dollar moving forward.