If Your Social Security disability claim is denied don’t get discouraged, most are initially.
If you are discouraged because the Social Security Administration denied your application for disability, don’t give up. Millions of people apply for SSDI each year, but only 30% – 35% of initial applications are approved which means approximately 65% of applications are initially denied.
The Social Security Disability application process is difficult to navigate and people easily become frustrated and give up.
It can be especially burdensome for an individual with an injury or illness who is facing a financially stressful situation.
There are several aspects of the application process which a person with disabilities may find particularly difficult, intimidating or confusing:
- Applicants are required to meet specific deadlines and if a deadline is missed, the applicant may be disqualified. Social Security aims to review each case within two months, but in some instances, cases are not reviewed in a reasonable amount of time. Unlike applicants, Social Security doesn’t face a penalty if they don’t meet their deadlines.
- If an item on an application is unclear or if there is missing information, case workers will not contact the applicant. There is no verification or confirmation; instead, the claim will simply be denied.
- Applications for SSDI are tedious and repetitive. The same information is requested each step of the review and appeal process.
- It is difficult for an individual with a disabling condition to handle a large volume of paperwork and record keeping.
If you have been denied disability don’t give up! Contact a Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and get the benefits you deserve.
It is very important not to give up and to understand why applications for SSDI might be denied.
- Lack of Medical Evidence. You must be able to prove decisively that you are unable to work because of your condition. Medical records that detail how your illness or injury interferes with your work performance must be provided. This includes notes from your medical providers stating how your condition affects your work and notes regarding any work absences. Applicants sometimes assume that the Social Security Administration will send them to a doctor who will gather this information, but that is not the case. You may be sent to a doctor for an exam, but it’s very possible a Social Security doctor will not find you disabled.
- The disability isn’t severe enough or will not last long enough. In order to be eligible for SSDI, an individual’s disability must prevent them from working and must last (or be expected to last) 12 months. For example, a person with a broken leg might be denied as most fractures heal within one year or less. However, if a fracture does not heal within 6 months, Social Security might expect the healing process to last more than 12 months and approve the claim.
- You earn too much. The Social Security Administration allows an individual to work while receiving SSDI, but puts a limit on the amount of money that the recipient can earn through work while receiving Social Security disability benefits. If you can earn an income, you aren’t considered disabled.
- Failure to follow treatment. If a claimant doesn’t follow their doctor’s recommendations, their claim will be denied because Social Security cannot tell if their condition prevents them from working. There may be a justifiable reason for not following a doctor’s orders, such as mental illness, being physically disabled, or religious beliefs, but it’s best to have a representative or attorney in these circumstances.
- Failure to cooperate. It is important to provide all requested documents in a timely manner and cooperate fully through the application process by staying in contact with the case worker.
- The Social Security Administration cannot find you. You must stay in contact with your case worker and notify them of any change of address, or have a representative or attorney do this for you.
- The claimed disability is related to alcohol or drug abuse.
- Prior denials. If Social Security finds that you previously applied for disability and were denied, they may deny you again. If you receive a notice of denial, it is much better to file an appeal, rather than file a new claim.
If your application for SSDI has been denied, don’t give up. There are steps you can still take to make sure your claim is approved.
- Appeal quickly. Be conscious of all deadlines. If a deadline is missed, you may have to re-apply which will take a long time.
- Provide complete information and details regarding your case including work history, medical information, physical limitations and the impact of your condition on your work performance. Be sure to list all your medical providers.
- Correct any inaccurate information on your application when appealing. The information submitted on an application remains in the claim record, even the notice of denial. It is important to correct any inaccuracies through a timely filed appeal.
- Do not underestimate the extent of your disability. Many applicants try to continue performing their job even with a disabling illness or injury. Identify and acknowledge your limitations in your disability application.
Perhaps the most important step you can take to ensure that your application for SSDI is approved, is to enlist the help of a qualified disability attorney. Social Security is more likely to approve an applicant who is represented by an attorney than an individual who does not have legal counsel.
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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