Myths About SSDIMyths About SSDI

There is a lot of speculation about the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the best ways to go about getting approval for benefits. Below, we address some of the most common myths about SSDI and provide valuable information about the system.

An SSDI benefits denial means I cannot receive benefits.

False. Most applicants are denied SSDI benefits at the initial application stage. Please visit our page on what to do in the event of an SSDI denial. You may also contact the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers for a FREE disability evaluation. Fill out the form on this page and one of our team members will call you back. A Social Security disability lawyer may be able to improve your chances of successfully appealing your disability denial. 

My condition will be rejected because it is not life-threatening.

False. Social Security disability benefits are for people who are unable to work for a minimum of 12 months. Your physician will need to show that your disability is expected to last at least a year, and you can collect benefits until your condition becomes non-disabling or a substantial income source changes your financial status.

An SSDI attorney will cost me money I do not have.

False. SSDI attorneys cannot charge you for representation before an outcome is reached. The law states that you pay no fee to a disability attorney unless you receive a favorable judgment. If you are approved for benefits, the disability lawyer’s fees can be transferred from your SSDI back pay straight to your law firm. The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyer's social security attorneys try to make the process easy for you.

I do not need to gather medical reports to prove my disability.

False. The better records you can keep that document your disability at different stages, the better your chances of receiving SSDI benefits.

The SSDI application process is confusing and time-consuming.

False. The SSDI application process can be completed online. An experienced SSDI attorney or advocate can help streamline the process and make sure all of the pertinent information is submitted in a timely fashion potentially saving you much time an effort, which is another good reason to contact us today at the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers for a free evaluation of your SSDI claim.

A simple form from my doctor will prove I am disabled.

The written medical documentation required to prove disability is very specific, requires precise details, and can change from year to year. The SSA will determine disability based on the restrictions your doctor or doctors place on your physical and mental state. The SSA does not take into account the doctor’s opinion on whether or not you should work. A vocational expert may be used to decide whether or not you are unable to perform job duties. A Social Security disability lawyer can provide you with crucial information on how to meet all of the documentation requirements and improve your chance of getting approved for SSDI benefits.

Extra income will disqualify me from the SSDI benefit program.

That all depends on the average amount of funds you have coming in each month. The SSA has placed an income cap on the amount you may be able to receive while still maintaining your eligibility for SSDI benefits. For the year 2009, if you earn an average of $980 or more per month, you may be disqualified for benefits. This is calculated as an average, so if there are short, temporary periods of earned income, you may still be eligible for SSDI income.

Learn more about the Social Security Disability Insurance program and find out what type of benefits you may be eligible to receive. Please contact the SSDI lawyers at The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers to set up a free review of your case.

Questions About SSDIQuestions About SSDI

Who pays for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

The funds paid to people with disabilities who cannot work come directly from the SSDI fund, a fund that receives tax contributions from workers, employers, and self-employed persons as part of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Disabled Americans must have contributed to Social Security for a certain amount of time in order to be eligible for benefits.

Are the SSDI requirements different based on your state of residence?

SSDI requirements are not different based on your state of residence. The qualifications for the SSDI program are mandated by the federal government. All residents in the 50 states, US Districts, and US Commonwealths can apply for SSDI benefits. Recipients must be citizens of the United States.

Am I eligible to receive SSDI benefits?

To determine your SSDI eligibility, the Social Security Administration uses a set of very specific qualifications and requirements. You must have paid into Social Security for a certain amount of time. (Children and spouses of disabled individuals may apply for additional benefits once the primary wage earner is approved.) If you are not sure if you qualify for disability benefits you can contact the Cochran Firm's Social Security disability lawyers and request a free disability evaluation. Simply fill out the form on this page.

Is healthcare coverage available through SSDI?

Yes, healthcare coverage is available through SSDI. If you are approved for SSDI benefits, you can qualify to receive Medicare health benefits after 24 continuous months of eligibility.

How much in SSDI benefits am I entitled to receive each month?

The Social Security Administration determines your SSDI benefit amount using a formula that takes into account the amount of money you have earned up until you became disabled and whether or not you are receiving any other type of public assistance. Cost-of-living increases may occur annually to help recipients adjust to inflation. Use Social Security Online’s SSDI Benefits Calculators to get an idea of how much you may receive each month.

How long can I continue to receive SSDI benefits?

As long as you meet all of the requirements of the SSDI program and your supplemental income is not significant, you can continue to receive your monthly disability benefits.

How do I apply for SSDI benefits?

You can apply online, visit your local Social Security office, or call 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TTY) to apply for SSDI benefits. You can also contact The Cochran Firm for a detailed explanation of the disability claims process.

How will an SSDI lawyer help me obtain SSDI benefits?

Your Social Security disability lawyer is ready to help you get the benefits you sorely need. Trust the Cochran Firm SSDI lawyers to help you get the best opportunity to receive SSDI benefits by evaluating your claim and walking you through each step in the SSDI claim process. Please contact the SSDI lawyers at The Cochran Firm today for a free review of your SSDI claim by filling out the form on this page.

What to Expect after your Social Security disability benefits have been deniedWhat to Expect after your Social Security disability benefits have been denied

If you are denied SSDI benefits at the end of the level one waiting period, you have the right to file for a reconsideration or first appeal. But you must file this within sixty days of your Social Security disability claim being denied. If you do not file your reconsideration request in sixty days, your application for SSDI benefits will not be reconsidered. At the second level, your medical and vocational information will be reviewed and updated, if necessary. At the second level, a different Social Security Administration (SSA) representative reviews your Social Security disability application (a different person does this because a new set of eyes may find something the first SSA representative reviewing your application did not see).

The most important thing to remember is that although this is a very long and often frustrating process, persistence can pay off. There are several steps or "stages" involved in the SSDI process and each one presents its unique set of challenges. In many cases, it takes up to two years after initial application is made for a person to be approved for Social Security disability benefits. Below are the approximate percentages of claims approved at each level:

Level One: Initial     35%

Level Two: Reconsideration     15%

Level Three: Hearing     50%

Level Four: Appeals Council     3%

Level Five: Federal Court     5%


If your disability claim has been denied, contact the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers. Many of our clients are enjoying their benefit payments today after the Firm's Social Security disability attorneys assisted them in appealing their denial. A denial does not mean the end!

Questions About Social Security InsuranceQuestions About Supplemental Security Income

What is Title XVI?

Title XVI is a government program that offers supplemental income to the aged, blind and disabled should they not be able to work. It is another name for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

An experienced SSI attorney, like the Social Security disability lawyers at The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers, can evaluate your case and explain to you whether or not you qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

How are Title XVI benefits calculated?

As you probably already know, the language and formulas used in determining SSI benefits are not easy to understand. It would be virtually impossible for you to calculate your benefits on your own. At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers, with offices all over the United States, we have represented thousands of people just like you who are entitled to benefits. If you have filled out the paperwork for Social Security Supplemental Income benefits and have been denied, we encourage you to fill out the forma nd receive a FREE confidential consultation today.

How is eligibility determined for Title XVI benefits?

To be eligible for Title XVI benefits, you must:

  • Have little or no income
  • Have limited resources
  • Be considered medically disabled
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien who is a resident of U.S.
  • File an application

Is there a maximum amount of back payments the Social Security Administration will pay to an SSI recipient?

No, but SSA will limit amounts in increments that do not exceed 12 times the current Federal Benefit Rate (FBR).

Are benefits requirements different in each state?

No. The Federal Government mandates who qualifies for Supplemental Security Income benefits under Title XVI and who does not.

If you feel you may qualify for Title XVI benefits, please contact one of the experienced SSI attorneys at The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today to schedule your confidential consultation.

There is no fee if you do not win your benefits!
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