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Social Security disability benefits myth versus fact - Part I

It can be hard for a person to know where to look and what to believe when seeking to apply for Social Security disability benefits. A Tennessean may receive advice from a friend who has obtained SSDI benefits, or from a neighbor whose SSDI application was rejected. Some of this advice may differ, or be discouraging for a Tennessean. It is important to know what is truth and what is fiction when a person is seeking to obtain benefits.

One myth is that it is not worth a person's time to apply for benefits because the applicant will be denied. This is simply not true. While the requirements to obtain benefits are stringent, and the rejection rate is high, it is important to note that a person whose application has been rejected the first time can appeal the decision and reapply. For those people with disabilities that limit their ability to earn an income, it is important to not abandon their attempts at obtaining benefits.

Another myth is that a doctor's diagnosis of disability will guarantee that a person will obtain SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration. The SSA makes a legal decision and will rely in part on a credible medical professional's analysis of whether an applicant has a disability to make its determination, but a doctor's diagnosis alone is not sufficient for a person to obtain benefits. Additional documentation will be required.

What is true is that it is imperative for an applicant to thoroughly document his or her disability and the effect a condition has on his or her life in order to have the best possible chance of obtaining benefits. An attorney familiar with the SSDI application process may be able to help an applicant apply for benefits and answer questions the applicant may have about what is often a confusing process.

Source: everydayhealth.com, "10 Myths and Facts about Social Security Disability Insurance," Kathleen Doheny, accessed Sept. 6, 2015

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