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Clarifying misconceptions about SSDI applications

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance is a lifeline for many people who cannot work because of severe medical conditions. However, there are numerous misconceptions regarding the process of applying for SSDI that can deter eligible individuals from applying or cause unnecessary frustration.

Gaining clarity on these misconceptions can help you confidently navigate the application process.

You must wait one year after becoming disabled to apply

One widespread misconception is that you have to wait a year after your disability onset to apply for SSDI. In truth, you should apply as soon as you become disabled if you believe that your disability will last at least one year or result in death. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can potentially receive benefits.

If you get denied once, you cannot apply again

Many people think that a single denial means the end of the road for their SSDI application. This is not the case. If you receive a denial, you have the right to appeal the decision. Many applicants go through the appeals process before they gain approval.

Being young means you will not qualify

Age does not serve as a barrier to SSDI. While certain criteria change depending on age brackets, young people can and do qualify for SSDI benefits. While applicants from age 50 to 59 do make up the biggest group, those from 40 to 49 comprise 7.6% of people receiving SSDI. The primary concern is the nature and severity of the disability, not the age of the applicant.

Only physical disabilities count

While physical disabilities often come to mind when thinking of SSDI, mental disorders can also qualify. Conditions like depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders, among others, can be grounds for SSDI benefits if they severely impact your ability to work.

Having a job disqualifies you

Many believe that if they are currently working, they cannot apply for SSDI. This is not entirely accurate. While there are limits on how much you can earn and still be eligible, having a job does not automatically disqualify you. The Social Security Administration evaluates if your condition prevents you from engaging in “substantial gainful activity.” That amount for 2023 is $2,460 per month for blind people and $1,470 for non-blind people.

Misconceptions about SSDI can cloud judgment and deter eligible individuals from applying. When you understand the realities of the application process and the criteria for eligibility, you can make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls. Remember, SSDI exists to support those in need; do not let myths stand in the way of seeking the assistance you deserve.