Every year, around two million people apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the two major programs for people with disabilities run through the Social Security Administration. However, less than half of these applications make it through the entire application process. Here are five major reasons why people have their applications denied:
- Filed for disability while still working
- SSDI and SSI benefits are intended for people who do not make enough money to support themselves on their own income. This means if you make too much money ($1,200 or more per month under current standards), you can be denied for being gainfully employed. Thus, you should not apply for Social Security disability benefits unless you are no longer able to work.
- Lack of up-to-date medical evidence
- When you apply for disability benefits, you need to be able to show that you have a physical or psychological condition that substantially impairs your ability to work. If you have not been to the doctor recently, though, you may be denied due to a lack of medical evidence for your condition. In addition, if you fail to authorize the SSA to access your medical records, you may be denied because they cannot access the relevant medical evidence of your disability.
- Failing to follow doctor’s recommended treatment
- Unfortunately, it is not enough to show that you have a medical condition that makes you unable to engage in gainful employment. You also need to show that you followed your doctor’s advice on treating your condition, and that the treatment was not sufficient to allow you to return to work. If you apply for Social Security disability benefits but refuse to have your condition treated, that can be grounds for having your claim denied.
- Failure to respond to SSA
- Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a multi-part process, for which the SSA must be able to contact you. They may need additional information, or they may request additional records, or they may need to schedule an in-person appointment for your disability determination examination. Thus, if your address or phone number changes and you fail to update your contact information, or if you simply refuse to respond to requests for information, you may have your claim denied.
- Filing too soon after being denied
- Finally, if you try to file again too soon after having your claim denied, you may have your claim denied again automatically, without anyone ever looking at your application. This is part of why you should always make sure to get your application right the first time. It is also why you should speak to a Social Security disability lawyer who can advise you on your application, and help you with filing an appeal if you are denied.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.