Social Security disability can provide much-needed income if you are unable to work — but the program is not without its downfalls. Benefit recipients and those who have applied for benefits regularly lob complaints at the program over several issues. As Social Security disability lawyers representing clients all over the country, we hear these complaints often. Common Social Security disability complaints include:
- The wait time for a decision is too long.
- SSA does not offer benefits for partial disability.
- The benefits are not high enough.
- There are penalties for trying to work while on disability.
Complaint #1: It Takes Too Long to Receive a Decision
This is the by far the most common complaint we, as attorneys, hear about Social Security disability. The time it takes after applying for a person to hear a decision is far too long.
According to Social Security’s website, the average decision time is between three and five months. But this timeframe is only an estimate. Your actual wait time depends on a host of factors, many of which are beyond your control. The biggest factor of all? The number of applications that happen to be in the queue when you submit yours.
That said, you can shorten your wait time by submitting a thorough and organized claim containing everything the disability examiner needs to make a decision. One of our attorneys can help you with this process and make sure you do not leave anything to chance.
Complaint #2: The Program Does Not Offer Benefits for Partial Disability
This is another big one. Social Security, unlike other disability programs such as veterans’ disability offered by Veterans Affairs, does not offer partial benefits. As far as the Social Security Administration (SSA) is concerned, you are either disabled or you are not. And “disabled” to the SSA means unable to sustain any form of substantially gainful activity.
Basically, if you can work and earn above the poverty line, it is unlikely you will receive disability benefits. However, an attorney, after reviewing your medical history and work history, might be able to make a case for why you should be approved.
Complaint #3: Social Security Does Not Pay Enough to Support a Decent Lifestyle
Not even those who are fortunate enough to receive an approval are always happy with Social Security disability. The biggest complaint among current recipients? The program does not pay enough. The maximum monthly payout in 2018 for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is $2,788. It is much lower for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
It is hard to sustain a decent lifestyle on that income in most parts of the country, much less in areas with notoriously high costs of living such as Manhattan or San Francisco. The average payout is much less: only around $1,200 per month, which does not even cover rent for a one-bedroom apartment in many big cities.
Some recipients who have a lengthy work history have paid much more into the system than they will ever receive from it. These people feel they should receive more compensation when they fall upon hard times due to injury or illness.
Complaint #4: I Get Punished if I Try to Work While on Disability
Because Social Security only offers benefits to the fully disabled, it will cancel those benefits quickly if it finds out you are working and making above a certain amount. The SSA does offer a trial work period if you want to test the waters of going back to work. During this period, you can work for several months without losing your benefits. But the program has rigid rules from which straying can lead to immediate termination of your benefits.
Recipients complain because they are viewed as “cheating the system” if they try to work while collecting benefits. But most people on disability would prefer to be working. And some of them have good days and bad days, the good days being ones where they feel healthy enough to work and contribute to society. But they hesitate to do so for fear of losing the disability benefits they need to make ends meet.
For Help With Your Social Security Disability Claim, Call the Disability Advantage Group at 865-566-0800 for a Free Case Evaluation
The Social Security disability lawyers at the Disability Advantage Group can help you put together a strong claim for disability benefits. We want to help you win benefits and keep those benefits. Our team has years of experience that we want to put to work for you. We offer a free, no-risk case evaluation to discuss your options.
To schedule an appointment today, call 865-566-0800.