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Here are some common Social Security Disability Myths

Social Security Disability Myths abound.  Here are some of the more common ones we’ve heard.

Social Security Disability Myths.  Myth # 1. 

“You have to be over age 50 to get disability benefits” is a common Social Security Disability Myth.  This simply is not true.  Although it is not a legal requirement, in some cases it may be easier to get disability benefits if you are over age 50.  This involves Social Security Medical-Vocational Guidelines, which we have discussed in previous blogs.

Social Security Disability Myths.  Myth # 2. 

“You cannot get disability just for mental impairments.” This one also is false. The Social Security Administration considers mental impairment claims as well as claims based on physical impairments.

Prevalence of Serious Mental Illness Among U.S. Adults (2015) per the National Institute of Mental Health. (See, visited on 9/5/17)

Prevalence of Serious Mental Illness Among U.S. Adults (2015) per the National Institute of Mental Health.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health,  “In 2015, there were an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with SMI [Serious Mental Illness] within the past year. This number represented 4.0% of all U.S. adults.” With these numbers, it is not surprising that disability claims involving mental illness are common.

There are different criteria for determining whether someone is disabled because of mental impairments as opposed to physical impairments.

Still, if you have a mental impairment(s) that would prevent you from working then you should consider applying for Social Security disability. Please note that Social Security will consider a combination of physical and mental impairments, too.  Click here to reach some of our other blogs concerning mental impairments. 

Social Security Disability Myths.  Myth # 3. 

“Everyone who applies is denied the first time.” Actually, the approximate percentage of claims that are approved at the initial level of review is about one-third. So factually, to say that everyone is denied is simply wrong. This process can be trying enough.   Please do not discourage yourself from applying when you may be eligible.

Social Security Disability Myths.  Myth # 4.  

“You basically have to be in a wheelchair to get disability.” This one is obviously false.  In fact, most of my clients do not use wheelchairs. They may use a cane, and sometimes need a walker, but rarely a wheelchair.  Social Security can consider, though, your ability to ambulate (walk) effectively.

Please keep these issues in mind before you apply for these important benefits.

You should consider hiring an attorney for your claim.  An experienced attorney knows the law and applies it to the facts of your case.  You want to increase the chances of winning your important claim for benefits.