I was denied disability benefits besides having enough work credits

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Most people go to panic modes when they get their disability applications denied – However, most people do not realize that denied disability benefits could be appealed within the six months of denial with a 35% chance of getting your disability benefits approved at some level of appeal.

Read on to find out how!

Social Security Disability Insurance is a Social Security tax fund under which individuals with enough work credits and history qualify. Applicants who qualify under SSDI should have paid social security taxes to qualify under SSDI. However, still applications which are not developed run a high risk of denial. A denial doesn’t necessarily indicate that you are not disabled. Although the disability may be beyond your control but filing out the application carefully and making sure you are not doing anything that shows up as misleading information in your application to the SSA could be the key to your SSDI acceptance. Here’s a few things you may be doing wrong:

  • You don’t show hard medical evidence

You need to prove that your disability is severe enough through your medical records. For example, you may be seeing your doctor for severe spinal pain. But your medical records do not indicate that the pain is interfering in your work life balance. This will result in denial. Hence, you need to discuss with your physician how the disability is interfering in your work/life balance and show it in medical records.

  • Your disability is not long lasting or would be soon recovered

Presented the case above, you may still be denied the SSDI benefits. Under SSA, your medical condition needs to be severe enough to prevent you from working for one or more year, or has a potential risk of death. For example, you are filing for SSDI following a motorbike or automobile accident resulting in a bone fracture. But if that bone fracture isn’t expected to last one year or impair your work ability, you may be denied. The only exception to one year rule is blindness. However, if the fracture is severe enough to last more than one year, you need to have medical evidence to back up your application.

  • You earn more than enough income

If you are working too much to gain a high income, much more than the standard of Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) under SSA that is $1180 per month set in 2018, you will be considered as earning too much. Your disability claims cannot exceed the asset limits set by the SGA. You would risk denial if you do so. If your income exceeds the upper limit i.e., $1500 set by a complicated formula by the SSA, you would be denied completely regardless of your disability in most cases.

  • You do not cooperate

Your medical records and consultations are important for your application. But if you deny the SSA rights to collect your medical history this would come off as refusal to cooperate resulting in denial. Also, SSA may need additional information about your disability hence sending you to a doctor. And if you fail to do so, you would be denied.

  • You don’t follow prescribed treatment by your doctor

With some exceptional cases under this rule, your failure to follow prescribed treatment by your doctor would come off as refusal to get fit for work resulting in denial of your application. Some exceptions would include

  • Intense fear of a surgery involved
  • Movement out of the house due to you being unable to move due to disability or you living alone
  • Sever mental illness or side effects due to treatment

Some non medical exceptions to the rule that could result in denial include:

  • Your religious believes prohibiting you from treatment
  • You can’t afford the treatment because you don’t have money
  • The doctor prescribed a treatment that another doctor contradicts with
  • Your disability is due to substance abuse

The SSA will simply deny you SSDI benefits if your disability is due to alcohol or drug abuse under DAA.

  • You have a past of being convicted of a crime

If you become disabled in prison after being convicted of a crime you would be denied. You would be able to apply or receive the benefits if accepted after released from the prison. But you would be denied if you are still in prison.

  • The SSA could not find you

Perhaps you moved houses to another city or hometown or changed your mobile/telephone numbers, if the SSA could not establish contact with you within a specific time after receiving the application, you would be denied.

  • You committed fraud

With all the cases stated above, if the government finds any of the information in your application as being manipulated to mislead the SSA into granting you SSDI, you would not simply be denied but also prosecuted to the end by the law.

With all said, if you want specific advice you can hire a qualified social security disability attorney at Disability Advocates Group Law Firm (DAG)  to help you fully understand and prepare for your appeal properly as well as filing and preparing all of your paperwork, increasing the chances of your acceptance.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.