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Social Security disability benefits myth versus fact - Part II

One of the many challenges Tennesseans face when applying for Social Security disability benefits is knowing how to decipher truth from fiction in what can be a long process with a lot of information. As this blog reported in a previous post, there are certain myths and important facts of which a Tennessean should be aware, and this post will address additional myths and facts to help clear the air around Social Security disability benefits.

One common misconception surrounding Social Security disability benefits is how often they are needed. It can be quite common for workers to suffer from work accidents leading to disabilities. Approximately one-quarter of 20 year old workers insured for disability benefits will not reach retirement age without suffering from a disability.

Some Tennesseans may be under the impression that disability benefits will completely replace their work-related income. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, as payments can be modest. Intended to cover some income, disability benefits are primarily intended to help people pay for basic living needs. However, the program is designed to meet the needs of those who have long-term disabilities and, therefore, long-term financial needs. A person will not qualify for SSD benefits unless he or she has a disability of twelve months or longer, or a terminal condition.

Additionally, some may believe that immediately upon the determination that a person has a qualifying condition, he or she will receive benefits. Also not true, as it can take a number of months before an application for benefits is approved and then a person does not receive his or her first payment until the sixth full month after his or her disability effective date.

Knowing when you might receive benefits, how much those benefits might be, and even whether you might qualify for benefits can be hard to understand. Experienced legal counsel may be able to offer guidance and direction to a person seeking answers about Social Security disability.

Source:, "10 Myths and Facts about Social Security Disability Insurance," Kathleen Doheny, accessed Oct. 11, 2015

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