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JOY BLOG
All Things
Social Security

  • Writer's pictureStephanie O. Joy, Esq.

Part 2 of Bad Reasons For Not Filing Social Security Disability – I Can Survive Without That Income

(A multi-part series)


Note: This article is for general information only and is not legal advice to any particular reader or individual. For legal advice, you must specifically retain a lawyer who evaluates your specific situation.

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Other news: The SSA announced the Cost Of Living Adjustment to Social Security and SSI benefits, at 3.2%. What do you think? Does it really cover the increase in your expenses caused by this year’s inflation?

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For Video version, please go to: https://youtu.be/X41N1bLvs1E found at the You Tube channel, “All Things Social Security”.


Recently, I shared , nine reasons[1] why many Americans or United States residents who, literally, cannot work full-time due to medical impairments, fail to file for the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI). They don’t file despite paying for it their entire working lives. I went into detail on the first reason, “I am not bedridden or wheel-chair bound, I can walk some, get around, live alone, etc. I am not eligible for SSDI”. I explained why this is a terrible reason, generally. I also provided a concise explanation of what Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is, to ward off the many myths. (See here for Bad Reason #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqOfFGxsuEU).


Bad Reason #2: Let’s go over a second financially damaging reason some people have, when uninformed, to leave their paid for insurance coverage untaken. “2. I do not want a hand-out. I am not poor; I can get by without filing for this benefit thanks to my family and my savings.”

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Video Version:

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As described in the last article, SSDI is not a hand-out at all. Is using your purchased health insurance (bought through work perhaps, or privately) a hand-out? Is using your auto insurance after an accident, a hand-out? SSDI is not welfare. It is not SSI, (which stands for Supplemental Security Income, and is not Social Security at all).


SSI, not SSDI, is a federal welfare program for the poor who are disabled or over 65 years of age. SSI is also administered by the Social Security Administration in the same process in which it administers the Social Security Disability Insurance program. I suspect the “S”-heavy acronyms lend themselves to causing confusion between SSDI and SSI. So, again, SSDI is insurance one paid for, not welfare. Given that fact, one’s ability to “make ends meet”, even comfortably or luxuriously, when becoming disabled from work, should not result in avoiding a claim for coverage when one becomes disabled from working and is otherwise eligible.


No Need To Use Up Savings, 401k or Pension

The availability of savings or a 401k one can take from, is not a reason to not make a claim for coverage from any applicable insurance policy one has obtained. Depleting savings is not the answer. Remember, that savings was for a reason, be it retirement in better quality, a rainy day, or to leave a legacy to our children or grandchildren, or even a charity if that is to be our druthers. Don’t use it to replace what should be your SSDI benefits.


No Need to Strain Family/Friends Resources & Generosity

Similarly, simply because immediate or extended family will often support us, when we can’t support ourselves with working income, is not a valid reason either. When we don’t file for our benefits when we become disabled, we may be relying on someone else to provide, either our own future selves (savings) or that of our loved ones. For their sake, including your dependents, children or grandchildren, consider filing that claim. The more you can take care of your own needs, the less strain on those you love and who love you.


Avoid Diminishing Your Retirement Benefit Amount Lastly, remember this. SSDI is your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) you worked for over your lifetime, for an expected Retirement at 62, 67 or 70. If you have earned and paid for the right to claim, prove and collect the Retirement benefit early because you cannot work til 62+, discarding that paid-for right seems silly now, doesn’t it?


Moreover, this disregarding of SSDI now, will often cause that Retirement, that Primary Insurance Amount you were expecting, to reduce permanently, possibly to ½ or less of what your estimate from the SSA had been. That estimate was contingent upon yiu continuing to work and not becoming disabled. Disregarding your SSDI coverage usually amounts to a future decimation of your Retirement income per month when you later collect it. Going the length to secure your SSDI now, prevents that reduction in Retirement.

So, with regard to Bad Reason #2 – it is not a reason for refraining from applying!


See Bad Reason #3 and why you should not let it prevent you from applying for SSDI if the circumstances say otherwise.

[1] 1. I am not bedridden or wheel-chair bound, I can walk some, get around, live alone, etc. I am not eligible for SSDI. 2. I do not want a hand-out. I am not poor; I can get by without filing for this benefit thanks to my family and my savings. 3. I can’t work right now, but I think I will improve within a year or two at most, so there is no point. 4. I get Long Term Disability insurance payments from employment related policy – why should I file then? 5. I am on Workers Comp (or fighting for Workers Comp) and therefore I cannot file for SSDI until that is over. 6. I am working part time still, so I can’t. 7. I can always do it later, down the roa… 8. I have no idea how to do it and don’t know how to start. 9. I can’t afford an SSDI lawyer.


For consideration for Attorney SSD/SSI representation in an upcoming or pending SSDI/SSI disability claim, please fill out our free Attorney Evaluation form. We do NOT charge a retainer to serve you. If, on the other hand, you only seek an attorney level consultation/analysis of a particular situation, whether you are a company or an individual, or to discuss your own situation without representation, to learn information beyond that information you may obtain for free from the SSA itself, and you do not otherwise have a lawyer representing your before the SSA, you may order a scheduled consultation at affordable attorney rates. Contact the office at 201-317-0610 or email stephaniejoy@joydisability.com.

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