The 5 Most Common Myths Associated with Social Security Disability Benefits

 As an attorney who has handled numerous Social Security disability cases, I often come across clients who say all types of things that are based upon wrongful assumptions about SSDI.  Not only are their beliefs mistaken, they can also adversely impact their ability to qualify for disability benefits.  Accordingly, I have compiled a list of the most common myths associated with SSDI in order to educate people as to the reality of qualifying for benefits.  These are as follows:

  1. The Social Security Administration denied my application so I should just give up.  Not true. Many times applications are denied simply due to missing information or a lapsed deadline.  Never give up.  Allow a judge to hear your case, as many SSDI applications are approved upon appeal.
  2. My doctor said I can’t work so therefore I am entitled to benefits.  False.  Unfortunately, just because your doctor says you are disabled does not mean that you meet the SSA’s disability criteria.  Specifically, even if you are impaired in some way, the SSA may determine that you can work, even if it is not the same job that you have had prior to sustaining your injury or being diagnosed with a disabling disease.  Moreover, doctors often do not know what “disabled” means for SSDI purposes nor do they understand the factors considered by the SSA in rendering this determination. While the SSA will consider a physician’s opinion as to the nature of a person’s restrictions, they will not rely upon a doctor’s conclusion that a person cannot work.    
  3. I don’t need a lawyer to help me.   Not true.  Despite the fact that lawyers are not required when applying for SSDI or appealing a denial of benefits, they can add significant value to the process.  Otherwise stated, the government is not on your side when it comes to applying for SSDI however, an attorney is, no matter what.  Moreover, an experienced SSDI attorney knows the ins and outs of the complexities associated with SSDI cases, including the applicable deadlines and requirements associated with qualifying for benefits.
  4. I don’t need to keep going to my doctor as it is clear what is wrong with me.  False.  Without current medical records and continuous medical care, the SSA may determine that you are not disabled enough to receive benefits. 
  5. I should wait to see whether my condition worsens before applying for benefits.  False.  SSDI applications who wait may not be eligible to receive benefits, even if they would have qualified but for the delay.

Don’t Wait until it is Too Late to Get the SSDI Benefits You Deserve

For more information on the above, give the Sanger Law Office a call now to learn more about your legal options, your rights and responsibilities, as well as how we can help you get the SSDI benefits that you deserve.  We at the Sanger Law Office can review your application for SSDI benefits prior to submission, assist you in submitting a request for reconsideration of a denial, or represent you in a formal appeal of an SSA denial decision.  The Sanger Law Office is centrally located in Lawrence, KS and represents those denied social security disability benefits in Kansas and Missouri.  Don’t wait.  Call the Sanger Law Office today for a free consultation at 785-979-4353.

What Constitutes a Disability to Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

To be considered “disabled” for SSDI eligibility purposes, individuals must be diagnosed with either a medical or psychological disorder that prevents them from performing substantial gainful activities, or SGA.  SGA refers to work that generates a certain monetary amount on a monthly basis.  In 2012, the amount was set at $1,010 for non–blind SSDI applicants and $1690 for those diagnosed as legally blind. In the event that you make more than these monetary amounts, the Social Security Administration will likely reject your SSDI application under the assumption that you are not disabled.

            Additionally, an SSDI applicant’s condition must prevent the person from performing SGA for a minimum of one year or expect to prevent the individual from doing SGA for the same time period.  Also referred to by the SSA as the durational requirement, this means that conditions such as serious back injuries may qualify for benefits (since it could render someone disabled for a year or more) while bone fractures or sprains typically will not.  Furthermore, SSDI applicants cannot work above the SGA level at the time that they apply for benefits.  Therefore, it is not recommended for people to continue working above the SGA level and then plan to quit assuming that they will receive SSDI.

To qualify for SSDI, an applicant must also provide medical records that contain evidence of the person’s physical or emotional impairment. Specifically, the records must demonstrate that the impairment is severe enough to prevent the applicant from working.  All records and supporting documentation must also be current, meaning that they cannot be older than 60 to 90 days.  Moreover, unless the records that you submit to the SSA readily demonstrate that you are truly incapable of working (i.e. they show that you suffer from one or more of the SSA’s qualifying conditions) the SSA will conduct an assessment of what work you possibly can perform.

As for the level of one’s physical impairment, the SSA determines whether the applicant can perform light, medium or more sedentary work by reviewing their medical records and supporting information.  For mental impairments, the SSA will review whether the individual can understand basic instructions, maintain focused and attentive, and interact appropriately with others, such as coworkers.  After conducting this assessment, the SSA will determine whether the person is capable of performing certain work based upon their specific skill set.

At the Sanger Law Office, We Provide Quality SSDI Representation     

For more information pertaining to the above, give the Sanger Law Office a call now at 785-979-4353.  Ms. Sanger will take the time to evaluate your case and help you get the benefits you deserve.  The Sanger Law Office is centrally located in Lawrence, KS and represents clients facing all types of SSDI issues throughout Kansas and Missouri.


Medical Conditions that Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

 In order to automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI), you must be diagnosed with a qualifying disease or injury.  Such injuries and disabilities are listed by the Social Security Administration in a manual known as the “blue book”, which includes both physical and mental impairments.  These qualifying conditions are as follows:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions, such as back injuries and trauma
  • Cardiovascular problems, including congestive heart failure and certain heart diseases
  • Sensory conditions, such as impaired hearing or vision problems
  • Respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
  • Neurological diseases, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease
  • Mental conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder and manic depression
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, HIV, Aids and certain forms of arthritis
  • Digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Skin conditions, such as dermatitis
  • Urological and genitourinary conditions, such as kidney failure

In the event that your medical condition is not one of the enumerated impairments listed above, you may still be able to qualify for SSDI.  Specifically, your disability may be considered medically equivalent to the one of the blue book’s qualifying conditions.  This is what the SSA refers to as “equaling a disability listing”.  For example, if you are diagnosed with a form of arthritis that is not listed above but is medically similar to one of the listings, you may still qualify for SSDI.

A person who files for SSDI may still be eligible to receive disability benefits even if his or her condition does not meet or equal one that is listed in the blue book.  In this case, the SSA will evaluate the nature of your impairment and the degree in which it affects your ability to work and perform basic tasks.   For instance, those that suffer from migraine headaches may still be eligible for SSDI if the claimant’s condition makes it impossible to work either in a full or part time capacity.  The fact that migraine headaches are not listed in the blue book is of no consequence when a claimant’s level of impairment is severe.  In order to prove your eligibility in this regard, it is recommended that you document your condition and the level in which it prevents you from functioning in a work environment.

Call the Sanger Law Office Now for a Free Consultation

For more information, contact the Sanger Law Office for a free consultation at 785-979-4353.  Ms. Sanger will review your application before submission or advise you as to the best ways in which you can appeal a denial of benefits.  The Sanger Law Office is centrally located in Lawrence, KS and represents clients facing all types of SSDI issues in both Kansas and Missouri.  Ms. Sanger looks forward to helping you get the benefits that you deserve and in getting your life back on track.