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Busting an SSDI myth

"Mythbusters" was a popular TV show for more than a decade. Its mission was to take on urban legends, commonly held beliefs and myths, and see how they held up to scientific scrutiny. Though the show ended a 13-year run last year, the desire many have to bust myths lives on.

We read one such effort by an attorney who helps people apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Her goal in a recent letter to a newspaper editor was clear: to bust the myth that SSDI is a "welfare" system rife with fraud.

The attorney busted one of the SSDI myths by noting that the Government Accounting Office estimates that SSDI fraud is less than one percent. She went on to point out how difficult it is to gain approval for claims for benefits.

Applicants have to submit their medical records to the SSA, as well as doctor statements confirming any physical or mental limitations their patients have, as well as other detailed, relevant medical information. Even the most deserving applicants typically face long waits before they clear every hurdle in the complex process.

Many applicants have to endure waits of two or even three years before they have a hearing before an administrative law judge. Many will go through their life savings during that time and others will lose their homes.

Few healthy people would be willing to trade their careers for 40 percent or less of what they earn for a disability benefit. No one gets rich on SSDI, but the program's modest benefits help ensure that beneficiaries can keep a roof over their heads.

You can contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler for more information about an SSDI application or appeal.

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