If an injury, illness, or severe medical impairment prevents you from working, you may be entitled to receive ongoing compensation through a Social Security disability claim. Social Security disability law is complicated. There are a lot of misconceptions about how the process works. At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, we help people get their SSD benefits in Arizona. Here, our Social Security disability attorney in Phoenix dispels seven all-too-common myths about Social Security disability.
1. There is Only One Type of Social Security Disability Claim
One of the common misconceptions is that there’s only one type of Social Security Disability (SSD) claim, when, in fact, there are two major types: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is for those who have a sufficient work history and have paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. SSI, on the other hand, is a needs-based program for those with limited income and assets, irrespective of their work history. If you are filing for benefits in Arizona, it is imperative that you file through the proper SSD program.
2. It is Easy to Get Approved for Social Security Disability Benefits
The official data published by the Social Security Administration (SSA) shows that two-thirds of initial disability claims are denied. A majority of applicants face denial initially due to reasons such as incomplete paperwork, insufficient medical evidence, or misunderstanding of the eligibility criteria. Given this context, it is crucial to understand the requirements and to provide a comprehensive application to increase the chances of approval.
3. Your Doctor Can Approve You for SSD Benefits
While your doctor’s input, diagnosis, and medical records are critical for your claim, they do not have the power to approve your SSD benefits. A medical approval is made by the Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state-level agency that works in partnership with the federal Social Security Administration.
4. You Can File for SSD Benefits for a Short-Term Disability
With limited exceptions, Social Security disability benefits are not available for short-term disability. To qualify, the Social Security Administration stipulates that your disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. For the most part, Social Security disability benefits are designed to provide financial support to those with long-term disabilities.
5. A Denial Means You Have No Real Chance to Get SSD Benefits
False. Receiving a denial does not mean you have no chance of receiving SSD benefits. In fact, many denials occur due to procedural issues. As stated previously, even seemingly small issues—such as incomplete paperwork or lack of necessary medical evidence—can lead to a denial. A significant number of denied applicants who pursue the appeal process ultimately succeed in their claims. If your Social Security disability claim was denied in Arizona, our legal team is here to help you appeal. There are several different steps in the SSD appeals process. It generally starts with a reconsideration and then moves to an administrative law hearing.
6. Once You Have SSD Benefits, You are Approved Forever
Contrary to this myth, the Social Security Administration conducts periodic reviews, known as Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR), to evaluate whether beneficiaries remain medically eligible for benefits. If it is found during a CDR that your health has significantly improved and you’re able to work, your benefits might cease. If you have any specific questions about keeping your SSD benefits, please do not hesitate to contact our Arizona SSD for help.
7. Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Arizona is Too Expensive
False. Many people fear that hiring an SSD lawyer in Arizona is prohibitively expensive. In reality, SSD lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. They only receive a fee if they win your case—meaning if you do not get benefits, they do not get paid at all. Beyond that, their fee is a percentage of the backpay that you receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This type of fee structure can make legal representation more accessible for applicants. It is often beneficial to have an experienced advocate navigate the complex SSD system on your behalf.
Call Our Arizona Social Security Disability Attorneys Today
At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, our Arizona SSD lawyers have the legal experience you can trust. If you need guidance and support with an SSD claim or SSD appeal, we are here as your professional resource. Call us (877) 370-5788 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation. We handle SSD claims in Phoenix, Tucson, and throughout all of Arizona.