Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be complicated, and it doesn’t help that there are many misconceptions about the process. That’s why you should turn to a disability lawyer for guidance if you want to recover compensation for a qualifying condition. You should also familiarize yourself with the process so you know what to expect along the way. To help you get started, here are three of the most common myths regarding disability benefits.
Common Misconceptions About Disability Benefits
1. If You Work, You’re Ineligible for Benefits
While disability benefits are for those who are unable to earn a living wage, holding a job does not automatically make you ineligible. You can’t earn more than what the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers substantial gainful activity (SGA).
For 2019, the SGA amount is $1,220 per month. After you are awarded benefits, the SSA has a trial work program where you can test your ability to work for at least nine months. For 2019, income of $880/month or more counts towards your trial work period. Any income from employment can affect your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, as it is a need-based program.
2. People With Certain Conditions Are Automatically Entitled to Benefits
The Social Security Administration has an extensive list of qualifying impairments on their website. Just because you’ve been diagnosed with one or more of these conditions, however, does not mean you’ll automatically receive benefits. The extent of your condition will also affect eligibility. For example, the impairment must prevent you from maintaining gainful employment for at least 12 months. This applies not only to the work you used to do but also to other kinds of work for which you’re qualified.
3. Putting Together an Application Is Easy
People often assume that once they acquire all relevant medical records, applying for benefits will be easy. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. In fact, your claim is statistically more likely to be denied than accepted the first time around. If you hire a disability lawyer, though, you can reduce the chances of being denied for an inaccurate or incomplete application. If you’re denied for some other reason, your attorney can streamline the appeals process because the firm will already have all your information.
If you want to apply for Social Security disability, turn to Stine & Associates, P.C. Founded in Greensburg, PA, by attorney Cindy Stine, this firm has counseled clients since 2007. Their areas of expertise include workers’ compensation, motor vehicle claims, product liability suits, and Social Security disability. To explore all the areas in which they provide guidance, visit their website. To schedule your first meeting with a compassionate disability lawyer, call (724) 837-0160.