The Truth About Social Security Disability in the United States

Intentionally obtuse arguments irk me. They reduce the national conversation about important issues into snippets of talking points and misguided statistics and stereotypes. False perceptions are what our disability attorneys at this firm battle against day in and out; from clients who don’t believe they deserve benefits for their pain, to examiners who fail to examine medical information closely. Have you read some of these stories? Headlines from multiple media outlets branding the Social Security Disability system in our country as “back door welfare” or “overly easy to obtain” are both ridiculous from multiple angles.

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Focus Remains on Functional Capacity

What some argue is that workers may be able to return to work, but opt instead to collect Social Security Disability. It paints the (false) picture that American workers would somehow prefer to lay on the couch all day and collect free money from the government rather than provide for their families through honest labor. Fact: eligibility for SSD benefits hinges on an applicant’s functional capacity as determined by medical doctors. No injury or illness automatically qualifies; it depends solely on the person’s ability to work and earn a living. By definition, those receiving benefits cannot return to gainful employment. The insinuation that the disabled would have a choice is ludicrous and offensive. The majority of all applicants receive denial letters on their initial application and require a legal team to assist them with the appeals process. In my decades of experience helping the disabled, I’ve never seen examiners rubber stamp applications. That’s not how the system works.

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No One Gets Rich on Social Security Disability

Trumpeting the amounts of money that the disabled receive as rich sums of cash doesn’t hold a drop of water. The most disabled workers receive while on disability through the federal government is about $1,300 per month, though is varies by state. Adding up the months that leads to a yearly “income” of under $16,000. I don’t know about you, but trying to maintain a home, put food on the table, and pay other living expenses with just that meager some of money is difficult. Federal regulations prohibit disability recipients from earning a high income without risk of losing their benefits. No one is raking in the cash here, and pundits that claim otherwise are either uninformed or just fabricating notions to serve their own agenda.

Some illnesses and injuries truly incapacitate those who suffer from them. They cannot work, or pursue a different career that could allow them earn a living. If they could do that, the government wouldn’t approve their applications, and instead recommend pursuing additional education opportunities and training. The misinformation out there is startling, and we need to do more to correct the incorrect assumptions.

If you, or a family member, is suffering from a medical condition or injury that doctors expect to affect your ability to work for a year or more, contact our disability attorneys today for a free consultation. If we don’t recover benefits for you, there’s no charge for our services so you have nothing to lose in exploring your rights.