By Mike Wolter, Attorney
There are many misconceptions out there about disability. As a Social Security disability lawyer in Jefferson City, MO I wanted to point out 4 of the most common.
Misconception #1 – “I am disabled because I cannot do the job I did in the past”
In order to receive Social Security Disability payments, you have to show that you cannot do the jobs you did in the past AND that there are NO OTHER jobs that you could do. However, when looking at “other” jobs, Social Security will only consider full-time, forty hour a week jobs.
Misconception #2 – “I am disabled because no one will hire me due to my medical conditions”
When Social Security analyzes your claim the only thing that they care about is if you could perform the job. They do not care if someone will actually hire you. They only look at what the job duties are and your abilities are. If you are capable of doing a job (regardless of if you could actually get that job) then you will be found to be NOT disabled. Many people say that they cannot get a job because they are an insurance risk so no one will hire them. While this very well might be true, it does not matter to Social Security.
Misconception #3 – “I am disabled because I can’t do any work located near me”
Social Security is a federal program. This means that they look at the nation as a whole. While they do try to look at regions within the country, usually that means the state you live in and maybe even states bordering yours. Social Security does not care if there are jobs very close to you. They only care if there are jobs “somewhere” that you could perform. Many people get upset when they hear this and ask if the government “simply expects them to pick up and move”. The basic answer is yes they do.
Misconception #4 – “I am disabled because my doctor says I cannot work”
While a doctor’s opinion stating you cannot work can be helpful in deciding your case, it is not a guarantee that you will win. Social Security makes their own determination about whether you can work or not.