guiltI Receive SSDI and I feel Guilty

Many people who obtain Social Security disability benefits feel ashamed or guilty to be taking money from the government. Many of us were taught to be self-sufficient during our upbringing, so accepting a “hand-out” does not feel right. The feelings tend to worsen with people who do not have visible disabilities because many people in this situation may already feel that other people are looking down on them. Let’s consider a couple of things.



Social Security disability benefits are earned, unlike many government assistance programs where the support is provided based on need. SSDI is based on your work history and income. SSDI is an insurance policy. As you worked you paid “premiums” in the form of Social Security tax. You did not have a choice in whether to pay or not. The money was automatically deducted from your pay check.

Let me ask you something. Do you pay for health insurance? Next time you visit your doctor or pick up a prescription request to pay the bill yourself instead of using your insurance. Think that idea is crazy? I think it’s just as crazy to pay Social Security insurance then not use it when you need and deserve it. You don’t feel guilty about using insurance that you pay monthly for. You should also not feel guilty about using insurance you paid for every time you were paid.

Invisible Disabilities

Some people have very visible disabilities. We can see their missing limbs or watch them walking hunched over a walker. However, for every person with a visible disability there are probably two more people with physical problems that are much less noticeable. Nay sayers see you at your best- the days you can actually get out of the house. They don’t see you when you can’t get out of bed or are unable to get dressed due to pain or other problems.

There will always be nay sayers. We can’t get away from them, but we can learn to ignore them or to just let their hurtful words go. Over the past year or so much attention has been focused on hidden disabilities. Over time, this publicity will make life better for those whose maladies cannot be immediately seen.

Loose Lips

Many people find the best way to deal with nay sayers is to simply not tell people that you are receiving disability payments. I really like one person’s idea when asked what they do for a living. The reply was, “I was fortunate to retire early.” This can be followed up, if necessary for nosey people, with, “I made some very wise investments,” which you did when you invested in Social Security disability.

Our Thoughts

These are just some thoughts I wanted to share with you that come up from time to time with our clients. I hope they help you if you are having feelings of guilt or having to listen to people who do not believe you deserve Social Security disability payments.



  Return to the Blog Home


About the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers
Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice, Bankruptcy Attorney in Atlanta or Social Security Disability Lawyer.The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or fill out the form on this page. “Working for You.” Article by Benjamin A. Irwin, Esq.

There is no fee if you do not win your benefits!
Submit this form for a FREE evaluation.

Zip Code:
First Name:
Last Name: 
Phone Number: 
Email Address: 

By submitting your request, you grant the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers permission to contact you using the phone and/or email address you provided. You agree that we may use an automatic telephone dialing system even if the number you provided is a wireless phone number.
These fields are present to prevent automated submission systems. If you see it, please do not fill in a value.