Each year, millions of people apply for disability, but roughly two thirds of those applicants are initially denied. If you have attempted to apply, or plan to apply, for social security disability, discover why so many are turned down, and what you might be able to do to see your claim approved.
Claims may be denied for any number of reasons, but there are a few common themes found in the claims of most denied applicants.
1. Lack of Medical Evidence
A claim must contain solid medical evidence proving a person’s disability. As a rule, a person’s medical condition must prevent them from working, and there must be documentation to prove a doctor has indicated their condition interferes with work. While the Social Security office may send a person to the doctor for a medical exam, it is always best to have the evidence in hand before placing the claim. Any documentation of missed work because of the medical condition, or doctor’s notes referencing the patient’s inability to work, should be included in the claim.
Individuals receiving Social Security disability must meet the Substantial Gainful Activity Allowance in order to qualify. This limits the income for those hoping to receive disability. In order to qualify for Social Security disability, you must earn less than $1,000 each month.
3. Failure to Follow Treatment
When you initially visited your doctor about your medical issue, he or she likely prescribed a treatment regimen. If you apply for disability, you must be able to prove you followed the treatment prescribed by your doctor and that you cooperated. The Social Security office will see this as an unwillingness to help yourself and better your condition, and will deny your claim.
4. Failure to Comply with Requests
The Social Security Administration will deny a claim if they are unable to contact the applicant. If you relocate, change your phone number, email, or other contact information, always be sure to contact the Social Security Administration to let them know. If you ever refuse to release information to the Social Security offices, such as medical files, or if you do not cooperate with their consultative exams, they may also deny you.
There are, however, exceptions for those who do not follow the prescribed medical treatment. If you were unable to afford treatment, the treatment was against your religious beliefs, the treatment was ineffective, or you have a mental illness that prevented you from following treatment, you may still qualify.
5. The Medical Issue Does Not Qualify
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, the medical issue must me serious, and must last for more than a year. If it is expected to last less than one year, you must be able to prove it will likely result in death, or the Social Security Administration will not consider it severe enough to qualify.
6. Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol or drug use, even addiction, is not considered a disability. The reason being, if you were to quit drinking or doing drugs, you would be perfectly capable of working and earning a sufficient living. If you have a serious medical condition that was caused by drug or alcohol use, you may qualify for disability.
If you are denied Social Security Disability, there is still a possibility for you to appeal the Social Security Administration’s decision. At Pines Federal, our attorneys can help you determine if you qualify for disability and, if you do, we can help you through the appeals process.
Contact Pines Federalfor help with your Social Security disability claim.