This post discusses Social Security Disability myths. If you are unable to work because of your health, make sure you know the facts about Social Security Disability.
Myth: I should wait to apply for Social Security Disability until my doctor tells me that I need to apply.
If you are unable to work because of your health, you should apply for disability benefits as soon as possible. Your doctor provides healthcare and may not even know about Social Security Disability. While it is true that having your doctor’s support in your disability claim can be helpful, you should not wait on them to tell you to apply if you are unable to work. In addition, even if your doctor says you are disabled, this does not mean that Social Security will definitely find you disabled. Read more at: Doctor Opinions and Social Security Disability
Myth: I can work full time and still apply for Social Security Disability.
You cannot apply for Social Security Disability if you are making substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2021, SGA is $1,310 per month. This is gross, not net. For more information see Can I work and file for Social Security Disability?
Myth: Social Security Disability benefits are payable for partial disability or for short term disability.
Social Security Disability is different from VA disability or workers compensation because percentages of disability are not assigned. You are disabled or not. The basic definition of disability is: your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. Check out SSA’s definition of disability.
Myth: I can’t do the job that I used to do because of my health, so Social Security will find me disabled.
Simply being unable to do your past work will not result in a finding of disability. SSA also looks to see if there is other work that you can do despite your impairments. They consider age, education, past work experience, and any skills you may have. If you cannot do other work, SSA will then decide that you are disabled. SSA uses the Five Step Sequential Evaluation to determine if you are disabled.
Myth: I have been diagnosed with a serious illness, Social Security will find me disabled based on my diagnosis alone.
A diagnosis alone will not qualify you for disability benefits. The severity of your impairment is what matters. Two people can be diagnosed with the same illness, but one has horrible symptoms and the other experiences none. In order to show severity, you need medical records.
Myth: I do not need to receive regular medical treatment to be approved for Social Security Disability.
Medical treatment is imperative to your case. This is the evidence you need to show that you are disabled. Read Medical Records and Social Security Disability
Myth: I do not have insurance and I cannot afford to go to the doctor, so Social Security should approve me based on my word.
Social Security will not approve you based on your word alone. If you are unable to afford treatment, apply for Medicaid at your local Social Services, try to find low cost/free treatment options, try to work out a payment plan with your doctor, try your local health department. In other words, try everything that you can! Check out our video Disabled without Insurance North Carolina.
Myth: I am a Veteran who has received a 100% P&T Rating from the VA, Social Security will automatically find me disabled.
Unfortunately, just because the Veterans Administration has found you disabled, does not mean that Social Security will. The ultimate issue of if you are disabled is reserved to the Social Security Administration to make. See also Veterans and Social Security Disability.
Myth: I know someone who is on disability and there is nothing wrong with them.
One of my favorite Social Security Disability myths (I hear this one quite often). I cannot speak to the health of everyone on disability but I have learned that looks can be deceiving. I have met very healthy looking people who have been diagnosed with end stage cancer. Until you look at someone’s medical records, you really have no idea what could be going on with them.
If you are disabled and unable to work, make sure that you know the facts, not Social Security Disability Myths. The Bishop Law Firm represents clients in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call us today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095!
Also read Social Security Disability Process
This post was last updated in June 2018.