Why do so Many Social Security Disability Websites Have Pictures with People in Wheelchairs?
Now, this is an interesting question. I was speaking to someone else who is also a former social security administration disability claim examiner and we came to the conclusion that this type of imagery usually amounts to non-sense marketing in many cases. And in other cases, it simply reveals that the marketing organization that either owns the site in question, or has been hired to help promote the website in the search engines really doesn't have a clue about the the subject of social security disability or SSI.
If you are a claimant who is filing for disability and---
1. You have and use a wheelchair.
2. The use of the wheelchair is prescribed by your treating physician.
---Then, you will most likely be awarded an allowance of disability benefits. Why is this? Because the social security disability and SSI disability programs award benefits on the basis of function, as in how much remaining functional ability does an applicant for benefits have?
In this type of instance, the question would be: Is there an inability to ambulate, or walk? As the social security administration describes it, an inability to ambulate equates with an extreme limitation of the ability to walk. And the loss of this functional ability is important because a reduced ability to ambulate, as demonstrated by one's physician-prescribed use of a wheelchair, interferes with the ability to initiate, sustain, and complete various normal daily activities.
Now, if a person is in a wheelchair, will they automatically get approved for disability benefits? Well, there are instances in which individuals become engaged in employment that gives them earnings equal to at least the SGA (or substantial gainful activity) earnings limit. And, in those cases, an individual would not qualify for disability benefits (if you make more than this amount, you're not considered disabled by SSA).
However, barring that, a person who relies on the use of a wheelchair to get around, after one has been prescribed by his or her doctor, will find themselves awarded disability benefits.
So, what does this say about disability benefit advertisements that routinely show pictures of people in wheelchairs? It would seem to state that the owners of the ads don't quite know what they're talking about.
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