Social Security Disability benefits are the lifeline of millions of people with disabilities across the United States. Every year, many more apply for these benefits. The application process is somewhat complex and many people end up submitting incomplete or incorrect applications. This and many other reasons can lead to a denied disability claim by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
According to SSA, only about 28% disability claims are awarded at the initial level on average. After subsequent appeals, this number goes up to 45%. So a large number of claims are initially rejected but later approved once they meet the requirements set forth by SSA. If your disability claim is denied, an experienced social security disability lawyer can help.
Here are the 7 top reasons why a disability claim is denied.
1. You Earn More
There is no limit on unearned income or assets when you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, if your earned income exceeds a certain limit, you may not qualify for the benefits. For 2019, SSA has set this limit at $1,220 for disabled persons and $2,040 for blind applicants. If your monthly earned income exceeds this amount, SSA may turn down your SSDI claim.
2. You Didn’t Provide Relevant Medical Evidence
Relevant medical evidence is the most important part of your SSDI application. This evidence is used by the SSA to judge whether or not you qualify for the SSDI benefits. Many applicants fail to provide relevant and complete medical records that pertain to their disability, and this leads to an application denial. Completeness of medical records means that they must demonstrate not only your injury but also how your injury interferes with your work. Notes, recommendations or general comments from your primary care physician can be very useful in this regard and should be included in the application.
3. You Didn’t Follow Prescribed Treatment
If you do not follow the treatment prescribed by your doctor, your claim will likely be denied. One reason is simply because it shows that either your disability is not serious enough or that you don’t need medical treatment to manage it. Another reason is that because without proper medical treatment and records, SSA is in no position to judge your disability claim.
4. You Didn’t Comply With SSA Medical Exams
SSA may require you to undergo medical examination by a recommended third-party medical expert. Once you submit your application, the examination will be scheduled at a specific day and hour. If you fail to show up for the examination, your claim will be denied. Again, SSA requires this to ascertain the nature and degree of your disability. Without this vital information, SSA is in no position to judge you and will turn down your claim.
5. Your Last Claim was Rejected
Many SSDI applicants tend to file new claims after a previous claim was rejected. If you do this, your claim will be rejected. This is simply because the SSA reviewers will see the previous claim and note that you didn’t appeal it. So the right course is to appeal the claim that had been rejected instead of filing a new one. This will significantly improve your odds of success. However, it is important to determine what caused the original rejection and then remedy the causes before you appeal the verdict.
6. Your Disability Isn’t Serious Enough
SSDI benefits are available only to those who are genuinely in need of it. SSA clearly defines what qualifies as a disability. According to the agency, your disability must be serious enough to prevent you from working for at least 12 months. It must also be serious enough to prevent you from undertaking any serious gainful activity. If these conditions are not met, your disability benefits claim will be turned down.
7. You Don’t Have Enough Work Credits
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have earned a certain number of work credits. For most applications, SSA requires that they have at least 40 credits with 20 of these credits earned in the last 10 years. In 2019, you earn one credit for every $1,360 you earn. However, you can earn a maximum of four work credits per year. If you don’t have sufficient credits, your claim will likely be denied.
How can Disability Lawyers in Columbia, SC Help You?
The disability application and claims process is fairly long and complex. As shown above, you must meet a number of requirements and follow a set procedure. It is best to hire a disability lawyer when you are filing the application. A qualified attorney will help you meet all the requirements and conform to any other requests made by SSA.
Fining Disability Attorneys in Columbia, SC
Here at J. Robert Surface law firm, we have many disability lawyers in Columbia, SC. Our attorneys can help you during the initial application process as well as when filing an appeal against a claims denial. If your claim has been denied, it is important to reach out to us and initiate the appeals process as soon as possible. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our attorneys and discuss your case in detail.