Millions of individuals apply for Social Security Disability benefits every year and unfortunately, only about 30 percent are approved at the initial claims process. Why is this the case? The reasons for being denied disability benefits vary on a claim by claim basis, but there are some common factors for a claim to not be approved.
If you have been denied on your Social Security Disability clam, we recommend that you seek legal representation. An experienced Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyer from the Dayes Law Firm may be able to assist you with all stages of the appeal process. We understand the specific criteria the Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for when determining if you qualify for disability benefits.
Reasons SSD Claims Are Often Denied
There are many reasons why the Social Security Administration (SSA) may initially deny your claim. Here are some of the most common:
Insufficient Medical Evidence
Many SSD claims are denied because the claimant does not have adequate medical evidence. To be approved for benefits, you must be able to prove that your disability prevents you from working. However, you might have a gap in treatment history due to a lack of insurance. You might not have seen a specialist about your condition who might have provided important guidance regarding your care.
Your medical records may be devoid of comments regarding how your condition affects your life and ability to work. You may have forgotten to send in some of your medical records.
The medical records you submit in your case often have a significant impact on your claim's outcome. Working with a disability lawyer can improve your chances of success since he or she will be knowledgeable about the type of evidence that is necessary to prove your claim.
Income Exceeds Allowable Limit
If you earn more income than the substantial gainful activity limit, the SSA can determine that you are not actually disabled, regardless of your medical condition.
Previous Denial of Disability Benefits
Some applicants file a new disability claim instead of appealing their denied claim. However, if you have already been denied at this level, it is unlikely that you will simply be approved the next time based on the same facts. The examiner reviewing the claim may simply deny it if they observe that you have previously been denied benefits.
Your Disability Does Not Qualify
Your claim may be denied if your disability is not listed in the SSA's Listing of Impairments and it does not prevent you from working.
Failure to Follow Treatment
Another common reason for an initial denial is failing to provide prescribed treatment. If you do not attend your scheduled medical exams or follow your doctor's recommendations, your claim may be denied. For this reason, it is important to keep your appointments.
If you need to reschedule, do so promptly and make it to the next appointment. Also, follow your doctor's instructions. Otherwise, the examiner assessing your claim may not be able to tell whether your condition prevents you from working.
What Not to Do When Social Security Is Denied
The biggest mistake that claimants make after being denied is giving up on their claim. About two-thirds of people who apply for Social Security are initially denied. However, two-thirds of claimants who reach the hearing level are ultimately awarded their benefits.
Other things to avoid doing include the following:
- Not appealing the decision
- Missing the appeal deadline
- Re-applying for benefits instead of appealing the decision
- Not providing supplemental information when the reason for the denial is lack of sufficient information
- Not providing updates of their health status to DDS
- Not keeping copies of your application and medical records
- Underestimating how your disability affects your activities of daily living
- Failing to hire a disability lawyer
How a Disability Attorney Can Help
Having an experienced disability lawyer on your side may significantly increase the likelihood of your disability application being approved. A seasoned disability lawyer knows how to present a case and highlight the strengths of it. He or she can argue that your condition meets one of the SSA's listed impairments. He or she can focus the case on the most persuasive facts and circumstances.
If an appeal is necessary, a disability attorney will understand the filing deadlines and what must be proven in order to have the claim approved. He or she can submit additional medical records and other evidence to substantiate your claim. He or she can prepare you for the judge's questions at the hearing and make strong legal arguments on your behalf.
For help with your claim, contact the Dayes Law Firm. We work on a contingency fee basis and charge no upfront fees. We only get paid for our services if your claim is approved.
Call 1-800-503-2000 now for our free consultation.