As we reported on Monday, you are going to be hearing a lot of negative information and attacks on Social Security in the news this summer, as the election season begins to heat up.
It is to be expected—the biggest thing to keep in mind is not to let it hamper you if you are thinking about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Remember, most attacks on the system are largely biased and uneven.
To note, SSDI is not an entitlement program. To qualify for benefits, you need to have a work history.
The Social Security Administration uses two different approaches to evaluate a person’s work history, when he or she applies for benefits. The first test is the “Duration of Work Test,” while the second test is the “Recent Work Test.” These tests take into account how long a person has worked, as well as how recently, to determine benefits.
When you hear stories come out in the news about Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) “rubber stamping” cases, keep in mind, this is not an accurate portrayal of how the system works. Approximately 65 percent of initial applications for SSDI are denied, while an estimated 62 percent are awarded benefits at the hearing level.
Earlier this month, a group of conservative politicians said they would pressure the SSA to crack down on ALJs who “rubber stamp” applicants—meaning they award benefits arbitrarily or without merit. Although there may be cases of this happening, the statistics show that this is not an accurate portrayal of the system as a whole.
How Will Social Security Disability Benefits Help Me?
It is estimated that more than 10.1 million people were paid SSDI benefits in 2012. This is not an unreasonable number when you consider that there are more than 313 million people living in America.
If you are unable to work because of a disability, you should be able to support yourself. SSDI allows people to do that. If you have questions about an application for benefits, do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers for a free evaluation of your case.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers