It is utterly frustrating to be ill or physically disabled and unable to work, and then be turned down for Social Security Disability. It's easy to feel that you're being treated unfairly, or to lose hope that you'll ever get approved. Don't give up, though – you have a chance to appeal the denial. Understanding the reasons behind your denial will help you figure out what to do next time so that you can get the approval that you need. Take a look at a few of the common reasons behind Social Security Disability denials so that you can decide which one applies to you.
Your Medical Records Are Incomplete
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has to make a decision about your eligibility based on your medical records that document your condition, treatment, and prognosis. If the medical records that you submitted with your application don't contain enough information, you may be denied because the SSA doesn't have enough facts to approve you application.
This is a common problem for patients who are uninsured or lack the money to attend needed doctor's visits. If you frequently miss appointments or jump around to various walk-in and low-cost clinics, your medical records may simply not contain enough information. However, what you may not realize is that that you can receive a consultative examination paid for by the government that will allow the SSA to accurately determine your level of disability. You can talk to a claim examiner about scheduling a consultative exam at a time and location that works for you. If you miss a consultative exam, the claim examiner can help you reschedule it. Once you have more information and the medical records that the SSA needs, you stand a much better chance of approval.
You Aren't Following the Doctor's Prescribed Course of Treatment
Whatever your disability may be, chances are that your doctor will recommend some course of treatment. This could be surgery, drugs, or some type of therapy. If you fail to follow the course of treatment, the SSA can deny your claim.
There are some exceptions to this rule. If you can't afford the doctor's treatment, if your religious beliefs prohibit you from following the recommended course of treatment, or if you've had a second opinion from a doctor who disagrees with the first doctor, you can be exempted from the requirement to follow treatment for approval. You can also get an exemption if you're physically unable to do the treatment or have a mental illness that prevents you from following the doctor's recommendations.
If you haven't been following your doctor's orders, now is a good time to start, if you can. However, if you cannot follow the doctor's advice for one of the exempted reasons, you will need to get documentation that proves that you're unable to follow the doctor's recommendations. Submitting proof that you're following the doctor's prescribed course of treatment, or proof that you cannot follow the doctor's recommendations for one of the exempted reasons can be enough to have your claim approved.
You Work Too Much
If you're still working, it's possible that SSA will turn down your application because your Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is too high. This is based at least partly on money – if you make more than $1090 a month, your income will be considered too high for Social Security Disability benefits. Money isn't the only consideration, though. Even unpaid volunteer work can be considered substantial gainful activity for the purposes of the SSA.
It seems counterintuitive to quit working or reduce your hours at work before being approved for Social Security Disability benefits, and doing so can certainly pose a financial hardship. However, if your doctor has told you that you should no longer be working, it's in your best interests to follow those recommendations. Cutting back on your gainful activity is better for your health and for your Social Security Disability benefit application.
A lawyer who is experienced with Social Security Disability can help you spot these problems and fix them before you send in an application or appeal. If you're having trouble figuring out why you were denied or how to fix the problem, talking to a Social Security Disability attorney in your area will give you the best chance at success.Share
2 February 2015
It can be hard to know what to do to protect yourself legally in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. You’re liable to be disoriented or in shock, you may be injured, and you’re surely worried about your passenger or the other driver. At least, that’s how I felt. The thing is, the things you say and do in the immediate aftermath of an accident may affect a legal case later. Depending on who’s at fault and what the laws are in your state, you may want to sue the other driver for damages, or you may find yourself being sued. My blog is designed to give you tips for a car accident lawsuit, no matter which side you find yourself on.