What are common Social Security myths?

  1. You are not allowed to work if you are applying for disability--MYTH. While this may be true in your case, this is not an absolute rule. You should ask your attorney whether you may continue to work if you gross below the SGA amount for that year.

  2. Social Security Administration denies everyone the first time they apply for benefits--MYTH. While a large majority of applications are denied at the initial level (more than 60%), having an experienced attorney assist your with your application can increase your chances of winning at the initial application level.

  3. Certain diseases automatically qualify you for Social Security benefits--MYTH. Unfortunately this is not true. As experienced attorneys, the Sellers Law Firm sees clients with all sorts of medical conditions, including terminal illnesses (TERI cases) that are denied benefits at all levels of the process. That's why it is important to use an experienced attorney as soon as your decide to apply for benefits. We can point out to the District Office, DDS, or the Administrative Law Judge, just how severe your conditions are and probably get your case adjudicated sooner than if you tried to go it alone.

  4. If you are not in a wheelchair or homebound you cannot win a Social Security case--MYTH. There are many people who are unable to maintain a 40 hour week/5 days per week job who are not bound to a wheelchair. To prove that you are disabled, you simply must prove that you are unable to maintain work at a sufficient level for a period of at least 12 months. And if you are over the age of 50, this criterion becomes even easier. The attorneys of the Sellers Law Firm have represented people successfully with depression, back and heart disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, personality disorders, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, seizure disorders, and many more conditions.

  5. Young(er) people cannot win their disability case--MYTH. While the rules do make it easier for a person over the age of 50 to win his or her case. It is very possible to win your case as a younger individual or even as a child.

  6. Filing a new application is better than making an appeal--MYTH. Reapplying for benefits based on the same medical conditions is simply a waste of time and resources. The likelihood that the claim will be rejected for the same reasons as the initial application is huge. The chances of winning a claim more than doubles when the claim is before an Administrative Law Judge. However, if your case is denied by an Administrative Law Judge, you should consult your attorney as to whether you should file an appeal to the Appeals Council or whether you should file a new application.

  7. You will automatically lose your claim if you drink alcohol or take drugs--MYTH. It is impossible to win a Social Security claim based solely on being an alcoholic or a drug addict. However, if you have a legitimate medical condition unrelated to the drugs or alcohol, meaning that the drugs and alcohol are non-contributory to the disabling condition, then your claim can still be won.

  8. You cannot claim Social Security Benefits if you have never worked--MYTH. You may still be entitled to SSI benefits even if you have never worked. Also, if you are disabled from the age of 22, then you may be entitled to draw benefits from one of your working parents. There are multiple ways in which you may be entitled to draw Social Security benefits, even if you have never worked.

  9. You cannot earn any money will receiving Social Security benefits--MYTH. It is true that if you are working full time and earning money above the current SGA limit, such information may be construed as your ability to work. However, depending on which program from which you are being paid, you may be eligible to earn up to the current SGA amounts while still drawing you Social Security benefits.

  10. You are only able to collect one type of benefit at any one time--MYTH. You are able to collect SSDI at the same time as VA Benefits. Also, if you are drawing SSDI, you will also qualify for Medicare. Also, if you are drawing SSI, you will also qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and other governmental programs. Do remember, though, that certain income will require an off-set of Social Security benefits. Consult your attorney as to how supplemental programs may affect your Social Security benefits.

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