Social Security disability benefits can provide you with very real financial relief. But that lifeline is dependent upon your ability successfully pursue your disability claim. The claims process seems simple, too. But the fact of the matter is that proving the elements of a disability claim can be more difficult than you imagine. That’s why it may be helpful for you to understand some of the most common reasons why disability claims are denied. That way you can take the action necessary to avoid those outcomes and position yourself for success.
Why are so many disability claims denied?
There are a lot of reasons why disability claims are denied. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons here:
- Inadequate medical evidence: In order to convince the government that you’re deserving of disability benefits, you’re going to have to show that your medical condition prevents you from working. This means that your claim needs to be supported by strong and convincing medical evidence that specifies the extent and severity of your medical condition. This medical evidence should also speak to how your medical condition affects your ability to work. If you have insufficient evidence, then you’re claim will be denied.
- Lack of follow through with recommendations: If you don’t follow your doctor’s recommendations when it comes to treating your medical condition, then the government may deny your claim because it thinks that you can get back to work if you’d just follow your doctor’s advice. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to listen to your doctor and do what he or she says. This is the best way to make a strong record of the treatment that you’ve sought out.
- Income is too high: In order to qualify for SSD benefits, your income has to be under a certain threshold. If you earn too much, then the government can easily argue that your medical condition isn’t preventing you from participating in gainful employment. So, be careful with what you do while your claim is pending and talk to your doctor about what type of work you can and can’t do.
- Lack of cooperation: In many cases, the Social Security Administration wants a claimant to undergo an additional evaluation by an independent medical examiner. This can be frustrating, especially if you’ve already obtained an opinion from your doctor, but it’s part of the process and helps the government ensure that it’s only paying benefits to those who are truly deserving. If you don’t comply with a request for one of these additional examinations, then your claim will likely be denied.
- Previous claim denial: If your claim is denied, you should appeal that denial. If you simply try to file a new initial claim, then it’ll be denied rather quickly.
- Insufficient work credits: An individual has to possess a certain number of work credits in order to qualify for disability benefits. These credits are based on your prior income, with each credit being earned when you make a little over $1,300.
Thoroughly prepare your claim to avoid denial pitfalls
As daunting as all of this may seem, there are steps you can take to try to avoid an outright denial of your initial claim. But even if your claim ends up denied, you still have the right to appeal that denial and present additional evidence to support your position. By working closely with an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law, you can better ensure that you have the thorough legal strategy that you need to best position yourself for success. That’s why we encourage you to think about reaching out to one of these attorneys to discuss your set of circumstances.