When you file for Social Security Disability, you expect that your claim will make its way through the system and you will get the assistance you need. Unfortunately, many valid Social Security disability claims are denied initially.
Here are five typical reasons that applications are turned down:
- Length of Disability. If you are severely injured or seriously ill, you may need help right now. However, to be eligible for Social Security Disability, you must have an illness or injury that is expected to last at least 12 months. Many people recover from an injury or illness within 12 months and therefore are not permanently unable to work.
- Incorrect Answers on Forms. Over 70 pages of documents must be completed during the application process. Often an answer given on one of the multiple confusing forms is actually used by the government to deny your case, not just on the first step, but in later appeals.
- Noncooperation. To receive assistance from the Social Security Administration, you have to cooperate with the agency. If you don’t answer calls, letters or other communications from the Social Security Administration, you could be denied benefits. If you refuse to release your medical records, your case cannot be evaluated and your claim will be denied. The SSA can require you to be examined by one of its doctors and if you refuse to do so, your benefits can be denied.
- Drugs or Alcohol. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and your addiction is a material contributing factor in your disability, your claim can be denied. If your condition would still be disabling if you stopped using drugs or alcohol, your claim may be approved.
- You Didn’t Follow Doctor’s Orders. If your physician prescribes a course of treatment that is necessary for you to be able to work again and you choose not to follow it, your claim can be denied. There are some exceptions to this. If you can’t follow the suggested treatment without assistance, you have a mental illness that would interfere with your ability to get the treatment, or if you have a fear of surgery that makes it medically inappropriate for you to be treated, then you may still qualify for benefits.
If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability, an experienced disability benefits attorney can advise you on preparing the strongest case for benefits. Your attorney will discuss your concerns and prepare the strongest possible case for the disability benefits you have earned and deserve.
you must have an illness or injury that is expected to last at least 12 months