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Myths about Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income

Myths abound about qualifying for and collecting disability benefits payments.

Age-related “wear and tear” on our bodies, accidents, injuries, and illnesses can all leave us unable to work. Some conditions, even those that require hospitalization, surgical intervention or other invasive treatments, will lessen or go away in time. Our bodies, after taking the needed time and energy to recuperate, recover enough to get us back to our regular lives, and we can return to our old jobs or take new ones that utilize our skills without putting undue pressure on our bodies.

Other times, however, we are simply too disabled to continue to work in any capacity. In that circumstance, it can be nearly impossible to make ends meet and provide for our families without a regular income. Hope isn’t lost: the government recognizes the many difficulties associated with a long-term illness or medical condition, which is why there are several disability-based benefits programs available.

Common misconceptions may keep some from applying

The first myth surrounding disability benefits is that you must have worked your whole life to qualify. That just isn’t true. While benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program are based upon your personal income history, even if you have no work record to speak of, you might qualify for benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program.

Another myth involves the types of conditions for which benefits may be available. Contrary to popular belief, conditions don’t need to be terminal (i.e., you don’t have to be dying) in order to be covered. You also don’t need to have an obvious disability like paraplegia, amputation or blindness; many people successfully seek benefits for “invisible” conditions like chronic pain and mental health disorders such as major depression or schizophrenia.

An additional, widely popular myth is that it is nearly impossible to obtain benefits. Yes, the process of qualifying for disability can be tedious, and many applications are rejected initially, but a great deal of those who resubmit their applications after providing additional medical information actually do go on to receive benefits.

These are but a few of the many myths and misconceptions that abound surrounding the disability benefits process. If you are disabled and no longer able to work, your financial security may depend upon being able to secure disability benefits through SSDI or SSI. To learn more about the application process, speak with an experienced disability attorney like those at the Michigan law offices of Mancini Schreuder Kline PC. You can call the firm at or 586-218-3568, or send them an email.