Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is a federal program funded by payroll taxes. Managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the program was designed to compensate those who are unable to earn a living wage because of a qualifying disability.
If you’re thinking about applying for benefits—or you already have but your application was denied—you might turn to the internet or well-meaning friends for advice. Unfortunately, however, there’s a lot of misinformation out there that can ultimately hinder your ability to secure the compensation you so desperately need.
To ensure you’re on the right track, it’s best to consult a seasoned Social Security disability attorney instead. A knowledgeable professional can guide you through every stage of the application or appeals process, debunking the following myths along the way:
1. If You’re Unable to Work for at Least 12 Consecutive Months, You’re Entitled to Benefits
While it’s true that those who sustain a disability that’s both severe and long-lasting are usually entitled to benefits under SSDI, that’s not the only requirement they must meet. In order to qualify for ongoing disability payments, you must also have earned enough credits by contributing to the program through payroll taxes.
In 2022, you get one credit for every $1,510 you earn in wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits annually (so after you make $6,040 this year, you stop accumulating credits until 2023). In most cases, you must have 40 credits to qualify for SSDI benefits, and you must have earned 20 of those credits in the last 10 years. Exceptions apply, however, to those who are disabled at a relatively young age.
2. If Your Claim Is Denied, Filing an Appeal Is Not Worth the Hassle
This is another common misconception that has a grain of truth. While appealing a denial means filling out more paperwork, which you might consider a hassle, it could well be worth the effort.
The SSA denies applications for all kinds of reasons, including insufficient evidence and missed deadlines. As such, receiving a denial doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not entitled to benefits.
Thankfully, you don’t have to proceed with an appeal by yourself. A seasoned lawyer who’s well-versed in the SSDI program can help, which brings us to the third myth.
3. You Don’t Have the Funds to Enlist Legal Help
Most Social Security disability attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which means they don’t charge any fees unless the claim is successful. If your application or appeal is denied, you’ll only be responsible for expenses the lawyer incurred while building your case, like photocopy charges. If your application or appeal is successful, on the other hand, the attorney’s fee will come out of the resulting backpay. Additionally, you’ll get to keep 100 percent of all future benefits.
Speak with a South Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you want to apply for SSDI benefits or appeal a denial, you can count on the compassionate team at Hodge & Langley Law Firm for expert guidance every step of the way. Backed by more than 50 years of collective experience, our lawyers represent clients at disability hearings almost every week. To schedule your free case review with a Social Security disability attorney in South Carolina, call 864-585-3873 or complete our Online Contact Form.