Why is the Acceptance Rate for SSDI/SSI Applications So Low?

According to statistics released by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the acceptance rate for Social Security disability benefits is shockingly low. Of the approximately two million applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that the SSA receives every year, only about 800,000 to 900,000 make it through the entire process. But why is that, and how can applicants increase their chances of acceptance?

  1. Problems with application paperwork
    • The number one reason applications get thrown out is due to simple paperwork errors. While these may not seem like a big deal, failing to submit all necessary documentation with all relevant fields filled out may mean your application gets thrown out without them ever deciding on the merits of your case. Making sure your paperwork is done correctly the first time can vastly improve your chances at acceptance.
  2. Failing to respond to follow-up calls
    • Another common issue is failing to respond to follow-up calls from the SSA. Part of the information you give to the SSA is contact information that allows them to contact you in case they need something else or need something to be corrected. If they do not manage to reach you and do not hear back within a certain amount of time, your application may just be tossed aside.
  3. Lack of medical evidence
    • While people applying for SSI or SSDI benefits are examined separately by Disability Determination Services, they also must supply evidence of their disabilities when they apply. This includes medical records, the results of tests and examinations, as well as any information about any workers’ compensation claims that were made. If there is not sufficient evidence of a disability, the application may not be approved.
  4. Failing to follow medical treatments or advice
    • Unfortunately, the government has little sympathy for those who have a disability but fail to follow through with treatment. Provided you have access to medical care, you are supposed to follow the advice of your doctor and go through with any treatments they prescribe. Failure to do so can lower the likelihood of acceptance for your application.
  5. Applying too soon after a previous denial
    • Finally, if you were previously denied SSDI or SSI benefits, you must wait at least six months before trying to apply again. If you try to apply again before the time period has elapsed, your application will be thrown out right away. That is why you should do everything in your power to maximize your chances of acceptance on your first try.

The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.

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