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Debunking Disability Myths

There is a great deal of misinformation about the amount fraud against disablity insurance carriers.  While some people may believe going out on disabilty is akin to an early retirment, those individuals who are truly disabled know this is certainly not the case and that few sane people would jump through the insurance company hoops to earn significantly less than they earned while working.  Moreover, most individuals do not want to be considered disabled as they took great pride in their work and ability to earn a living.  At DI Law Group, we represent numerous clients who reluctantly faced their disability and depend on their disability policy coverage to provide them with some income while they remain unable to work.  

According to a recent NY Times publication, a person entering the work force today has a one in three chance of dying or qualifying for disability before the retirement age. Below are several popular and mistaken beliefs about disability, along with facts that challenge those myths.

Myth: It is easy to go on disability.

Fact: It is difficult to get disability benefits. Approximately 63 percent of applicants seeking disability benefits are denied; and nearly half of the 37 percent of applicants who are accepted, were initially rejected and forced to undergo additional scrutiny before receiving any benefits.

Myth: It is easy to qualify for disability.

Fact: It is quite difficult to qualify for disability benefits. The United States has more strict eligibility requirements, and fewer benefits than most other advanced economies. A person must have worked for at least one fourth of his or her adult life, and must also have worked for five of the previous 10 years, before they are even eligible to apply for benefits.

It is even more difficult to be awarded benefits, even if a person meets the eligibility requirements. To qualify for benefits, a person's physical or mental condition must be severe, and be expected to last at least 12 months, or to end in death.

Finally, an applicant may satisfy the first set of criteria, and still be denied benefits, unless they are unable to work any job in the market that generates earnings of approximately $1,000 per month. The job market consists of the national economy - regardless of whether jobs actually exist in the area where the applicant lives, whether a specific job vacancy exists, or whether the applicant would be hired.

Myth: It is easy to fake disability.

Fact: Faking disability is not easy. Proof of disability requires exhaustive medical documentation, from numerous medical professionals. Additionally, people on disability are three to six times more likely to die than their peers who are not on disability.

Myth: Disability claims are "skyrocketing."

Fact: Disability claims are not skyrocketing. In fact, growth in the rate of persons collecting disability benefits has slowed. Population growth, aging, and women's participation in the labor-force have boosted the eligibility pool, but not the rate of applications. When the numbers are adjusted to include these demographic factors, the amount of workers on disability has actually fallen to its lowest rate in 25 years.

If you have any questions about filing for disability benefits, your current claim, how to appeal a denial of benefits, or a lump sum settlement of your claim, please contact us for a free consultation.

Source: Busting the Myths About Disability Fraud, http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/takingnote/2015/09/08/busting-the-myths-about-disability-fraud/?smid=fb-share&_r=1&referrer=

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