The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes its policies available to the public both in print and online. For example, you can review the policies of what constitutes a disabling medical condition for the purposes of qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance right on their website, along with a list of conditions that frequently qualify.
Despite all of this information being readily available to the public, myths about SSDI benefits are everywhere. Many of these myths are dangerous because they affect how people view or approach SSDI benefits. People may not even realize the harm they do when sharing or reinforcing these myths.
The two myths below our particularly dangerous if you believe them, as they may keep you from getting the benefits you deserve.
Myth #1: No one gets approved at first
The idea that the SSA rejects everyone deters a lot of people from applying. However, that statement is not accurate. Although only 21% of applicants get benefits initially, according to data from 2010-2019, another 10% of applicants get benefits through appeals.
Roughly 2% of SSDI appellants secure benefits from a reconsideration, and another 8% prevail in benefits claims during a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Just under one in three applicants will eventually get benefits, which makes the paperwork required worthwhile.
Myth #2: Reapplying is faster than appealing
There may be a basis in fact to this myth. Depending on the current volume of SSDI benefit applications and what office you apply through, it could be faster to have a new application reviewed than it is to wait for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. It often takes a year or sometimes longer for someone to have a hearing in front of a judge.
While reapplying may be quicker, it will reduce how much you receive upon approval. Appeals can lead to backdated benefits. Even if it takes 18 months after you apply to finally get your benefits, you can count on receiving payment for all of the months you qualified but we’re not yet approved. If you reapply, the new application’s date will determine when your benefits might start instead of the initial application date.
Learning more about SSDI benefits can help you feel comfortable with the idea of applying or appealing.