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5 Reasons Claimants Are Denied Benefits for Social Security Disability

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Oct 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

5 Reasons Claimants Are Denied Benefits for Social Security Disability

Are you considering applying for Social Security disability benefits? Millions of people apply for disability benefits each year, but only around 30% of applicants have their initial claims approved. It's important to learn why Social Security disability applications are typically denied, so you can avoid common mistakes and increase your chances of winning benefits. There are various reasons why people's disability claims are denied, but outlined below are 5 common reasons. 1. Your income is too high Some people who apply for Social Security disability continue to work during the claims process. If they earn more than $1,000 per month (in 2011) and apply for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, their claim will be denied. SSDI is the disability benefits program for people who have paid into the Social Security system for several years. People who apply for disability benefits under the Social Security Income (SSI) program, which is for low-income individuals, will be denied benefits if they earn more than $1433 per month (in 2011). These income limits, which are known as substantial gainful activity (SGA) limits, are adjusted on an annual basis. 2. Lack of medical evidence Many Social Security disability claims are denied because of a lack of solid medical evidence. In order to be approved for disability benefits, you must present medical evidence that your impairment interferes with your ability to work. The medical records provided by your treating physician carry far more weight than the results of a medical exam ordered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). To maximize the chances that your disability claim will be approved, describe to your doctor how your symptoms interfere with your ability to work. 3. You haven't followed your doctor's treatment recommendations If your treating physician has prescribed treatment and you haven't followed your doctor's orders, the SSA may deny your claim. There are, however, legitimate excuses for failing to follow your doctor's orders, such as having a mental illness that prevents you from being able to follow the prescribed therapy or not having enough money to pay for treatment. If you have a valid reason for not undergoing the prescribed treatment, make sure you bring it up during the claims process. 4. Your disability won't last long enough To qualify you for disability benefits, your impairment has to be severe enough to last at least 12 months or result in your death. Only claimants who are blind are exempt from this requirement. Many applicants are denied benefits because their disabilities are only temporary. For example, a bone fracture resulting from a car accident is unlikely to cause a disability that lasts for 12 months or longer. 5. You won't cooperate It is important to provide the SSA with requested documentation and show up for your consultation examination (CE) if you want your claim to be approved. If you fail to release medical records to the SSA or skip a scheduled CE, your claim will be denied. If you can't make it to a scheduled CE for whatever reason, have it rescheduled. Whether it's your first time applying for disability benefits or you're in the process of filing an appeal, you can increase your chances of winning your case by hiring a lawyer to assist you. To schedule a free consultation with Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer Louis B. Lusk, call 800.883.7043 or fill out this online contact form.

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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If you have been turned down for Social Security disability call me at 1 (800) 407-1516. I look forward to hearing from you.