Filing for social security disability benefits can be intimidating. After all, it is reported that roughly 65% of those who apply get denied on their first try. Once you are denied, you can file an appeal to have your case reviewed. But why are so many people denied disability benefits when they apply the first time? Here are three things that can cause your disability claim to be denied.
1. You earn too much money at the time of your application.
There are rules that you must go by in order to get, and keep, social security disability benefits. One of those rules involves your income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) knows that you will most likely still have to work to supplement your income. They don't expect you to live solely off of the benefits they give you. However, you can't earn more than what they call substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is currently $1,090 a month.
Many people misunderstand and think that they just can't go over the SGA after they get benefits, but the SSA expects you to not go over it at the time of your benefits application. The reason is because, by applying for benefits, you are telling them you can't work the way you used to. If you are still working a full-time job, the SSA determines that you can continue working your full-time job in the future, therefore they will deny your claim.
2. You didn't submit enough documentation for your condition.
Your biggest hurdle in getting disability benefits is proving to the SSA that you have a disabling condition that prevents you from working like you need to. In order to do this, you must submit enough medical documentation chronicling your condition and medical treatment you have received for it. You can't just submit a single letter or a couple of x-rays. You need to submit all of your medical records pertaining to the condition so the SSA can have as complete a picture of your particular case as they can get.
3. You failed to comply with your doctor's treatment plan.
Another reason why people get denied for disability benefits is because they don't comply with the treatment plan their doctor gives them. Of course, there are some exceptions to this that the SSA will take into consideration when you appeal your denial—or you can hopefully save yourself from being denied if you provide the documentation behind non-compliance when you first apply for benefits.
Some reasons the SSA will accept for non-compliance with medical treatment include:
- The treatment in question goes against your religious beliefs.
- You can't afford the treatment and don't have access to free or reduced cost services.
- The treatment involves amputation.
- The treatment conflicts with another doctor's expert opinion.
This list is not exhaustive. There are other reasons the SSA will accept for non-compliance. However, even if you submit the documentation with your initial application, you may still be denied and have to prove your reason for non-compliance at your appeal hearing.
For more information about filing an appeal for your benefits, contact a firm such as Arrington Schelin & Munsey PC.