Why Have I Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?
As many as 70% of claims are denied Social Security Disability benefits upon initial application. Why does the SSA deny so many claims? And what can you do to avoid mistakes in your claim?
If your claim for benefits was denied, don’t lose hope. You can file a disability appeal with the help of a disability attorney. At Disability Attorney Services, attorney Gary Brown has extensive experience helping clients appeal denials at the initial application level as well as other steps of the process. Call us today to find out how we can help you.
10 Reasons You May Be Denied Social Security Disability Benefits
It’s important to know why your claim was denied so that you can address the concerns in your appeal. Here are some of the most common reasons that people are denied Social Security Disability benefits.
1. You don’t meet non-medical requirements
You may be focused on meeting the disability requirements for SSD; however, there are eligibility requirements other than medical. If you don’t meet those non-medical requirements, you may receive a technical denial.
For example, meet specific work requirements. You cannot have more substantial gainful activity than $1,090 per month. Additionally, you must have the required number of work credits to qualify. If either of these disqualifies you, you may be denied Social Security Disability benefits.
You must also meet asset limits for SSI. For example, you can’t have more than $2,000 in the bank. That limit increase to $3,000 if you’re married. You may own a car and a house. However, if you have additional assets, you may be disqualified.
2. Your medical condition will not last long enough
In order to qualify for SSD, you must have a medical condition that is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. If your doctors expect your medical condition to improve significantly in less than a year, you may not be eligible for benefits.
3. Your medical condition is not severe enough
How severe is your condition? It must be so severe that you cannot do substantial work. If you are able to work up to the level of substantial gainful activity or your condition is expected to improve so that you can work, the SSA may deny your claim.
4. You didn’t follow your doctor’s medical recommendations
If you are disabled due to a treatable medical condition, you must subscribe to the treatment recommendations of your doctor. If you are unwilling to follow a doctor’s orders, your application for disability benefits may be denied.
5. You didn’t cooperate with the SSA
When you apply for disability benefits through the SSA, you may be asked to do things to contribute to your SSD application. For example, they may ask you to attend an exam by a consultant physician who is different than your own doctor. You must also give SSA permission to gather and view your medical files. If you fail to cooperate with SSA, they may deny your claim.
6. The SSA hasn’t been able to contact you
Your application provides the SSA with multiple ways to contact you. The primary way they will contact you is via USPS. You will receive letters from them requesting information and giving you documentation. They may also call you on your phone or somewhere they can leave a message and have you return a call. You are more likely to be denied Social Security Disability benefits if the SSA cannot contact you after you apply for disability benefits.
7. Your disability is related to drug or alcohol abuse
Although drug and alcohol addiction are recognized as medical issues, they are not covered by SSD. If drug or alcohol abuse prevents you from working, you will not qualify for disability through the SSA. Additionally, if your medical condition would greatly improve if you stopped taking drugs or alcohol, but you refuse to quit, then you will also likely be denied.
8. You don’t have enough medical evidence in your file
Your disability application will also include information about your medical providers. The SSA will request medical evidence to support your file. If you appeal a denial, then you can include medical evidence with your appeal. However, if there is not enough medical evidence to support your diagnosis or the severity of your conditions, then you may be denied.
9. You’ve been convicted of a crime
If you are currently incarcerated, then you cannot collect SSD benefits. Additionally, if your medical condition was initiated or made worse because you committed a felony, you may be ineligible. Once you are out of jail or prison, you may be able to apply for benefits and obtain disability in certain circumstances.
10. You committed fraud
If you have defrauded the government of disability benefits in the past, you are likely ineligible for benefits in the future. If you do commit fraud, your application will be denied and you may be prosecuted. Social Security Disability fraud is taken very seriously and can impact your future.
Contact A Charlotte, North Carolina, Attorney If You Are Denied Social Security Disability
Being denied Social Security Disability benefits can be very frustrating. But knowing the reasons for your denial can help you to file a successful appeal. To learn more about disability denials and appeals, contact a Charlotte, North Carolina, disability lawyer at Disability Attorney Services.