Debunking the Most Common Social Security Myths

Published on: July 29, 2020

Social Security disability benefits have positively affected the lives of thousands of people who need them. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of misconceptions out there about what Social Security is or isn’t. 

Here are the most common Social Security myths circulating out there and the real truth behind them.

The Truth About Common Social Security Myths

Ready to learn the truth about Social Security benefits? It’s time to separate fact from fiction!  

If I try to go to work, I will automatically lose my Medicare or Medicaid. 

MYTH

This is a common misconception about Social Security disability benefits. You will keep your health insurance as long as you’re receiving Social Security checks. If you end up making enough money from your job to discontinue your Social Security benefits, your Medicare coverage can continue for up to 93 months. 

If you are currently under Medicaid, you should still be eligible to receive coverage even if you no longer collect SSI benefits due to employment. Since Medicaid eligibility is determined partly by meeting the earnings threshold requirements, you should still qualify for Medicaid if you start working again. Even if you make enough money to exceed the Medicaid earnings amount, you may still be eligible for coverage. Contact the Medicaid office in your state to learn more about your eligibility status after employment. 

You must be close to retirement age to receive SSDI benefits. 

MYTH

Social Security disability insurance is not a retirement program, but designed as a service for those physically restricted. The minimum age to be eligible for SSDI benefits is eighteen. However, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits through your parents if you are not married, haven’t worked, and under the age of twenty-two.

The only situation where there is a minimum age requirement for SSDI benefits is in the case of widow or widower's benefits. To collect the SSDI benefits of your deceased spouse, you must be at least fifty years old to be considered eligible.    

If my checks stop because I go to work and then I have to stop working because of my disability, I will have to reapply for benefits all over again.

MYTH

If you end your benefits by going back to work, but then must stop employment due to your disability, you will not need to reapply for SSDI as long as your benefits ended within the past five years. 

There are a few other requirements, including that you must have the original disability you initially received SSDI benefits for, or you are currently suffering a related condition from it. Though the SSA must conduct a review for your benefits to be reinstated, you may be eligible for temporary benefits in addition to Medicaid or Medicare coverage during this investigation period.  

The Social Security Administration always denies first-time disability claims.

MYTH

Although you can still be denied the first time you apply for SSDI benefits despite having all the paperwork properly filled out and the necessary documentation, it’s still very possible to be approved on your first time applying. The SSA reports that 72% of applications are initially denied, so an overwhelming majority are denied their first time applying. However, this is mostly due to a lack of medical evidence. Having an expert advocate can make a difference in your odds of approval since they can make sure you have all the accurate documentation and paperwork before you submit an application  

You need to be disabled for a full year before you apply for SSDI benefits.

MYTH

There is no requirement for you to be disabled for a certain amount of time before applying for SSDI benefits. If your disability or ailment is expected to last longer than twelve months, then you can apply for benefits at any time. Once your doctor can provide you with medical documentation about the severity of your disability and that it will affect your ability to work for over twelve months, you should begin the application process.  

Hiring an advocate to help you with an SSDI benefits claim will cost too much. 

MYTH

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a complex and time consuming process. Having an advocate by your side can greatly improve your chances of a successful claim so you can receive the compensation you deserve.  And if you’re concerned about cost? Advocates at DEF don’t get paid unless you do. 

We hope our list can help you uncover the truth behind these common Social Security myths! Do you still have questions? Our free consultation gives you the chance to sit down with an advocate, explain your situation, and ask the questions we've listed above as well as any others you may have. Consult an experienced benefits advocate today!

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