According to the Social Security Administration, roughly 2 million people apply for disability benefits each year. If you want to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, you might encounter a host of myths and misconceptions. These falsehoods can deter you from applying or understanding the process correctly.
It is important to know what is true and what is false, so you can better navigate the system with a clear understanding and accurate information.
You cannot apply for SSDI if you have not reached retirement age
SSDI exists to help individuals who cannot work due to disability, regardless of age. If you suffer from a disability that prevents you from working, you can apply for SSDI at any age, as long as you have earned the required work credits. You must have at least 40 credits and have earned 20 of those in the 10 years before your disability began.
SSDI only covers total disability
The concept of ‘total disability’ is subjective. SSDI covers you if you have a disability that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. This means you are eligible if your disability significantly limits your ability to work.
You can only apply for SSDI in person
In the digital age, you have the option to apply for SSDI online. The Social Security Administration offers an online application process that you can complete from the comfort of your home. This option provides you with the convenience of applying when it suits you.
SSDI benefits are permanent
Receiving SSDI benefits does not mean they are permanent. The Social Security Administration periodically reviews cases to assess if the recipient’s condition has improved. They typically do a first review anywhere from six to 18 months after the date you became disabled, if they expect your condition to improve. However, if they aren’t sure if you will improve, they will do a review every three years. If the SSA determines your condition has improved to the point where you can work, you may lose your benefits.
You cannot work while receiving SSDI benefits
You can work while receiving SSDI benefits. You can earn up to $1,050 each month before a trial work period begins. During your nine-month trial work period, you can continue to receive your benefits despite how much money you make. Following the trial work period, you can continue to receive benefits, as long as you do not exceed the Substantial Gainful Activity levels, which are $1,470 a month, or $2,460 if you are blind.
Knowledge is power when it comes to applying for SSDI. SSDI exists to provide financial assistance to those unable to work due to disability. If you need these benefits, do not let misconceptions stand in your way. Research, ask questions and pursue the support you need.