Over 8.6 million people are currently collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits across the United States. In 2017, the Social Security Administration (SSA) received 3.6 million new applications for benefits. However, only 762,000 of those applications were approved. Many claims for disability are denied because the applicant does not meet the criteria for benefits or because of incomplete or inaccurate applications. We share some of the most common reasons people are denied SSDI benefits.
5 Common Reasons Social Security Applications Get Denied
When you are injured or become ill and are unable to work, you count on the SSA to come through with the benefits you have earned through years of work. However, you must meet their criteria for qualification and follow their instructions for applying. Only 30 percent of initial SSDI applications are approved and, considering that it can take up to three months for a decision on your initial application—and much longer if you need to appeal, it is important that you get your application right the first time. Reasons people are often denied benefits include the following:
- Applying when they are not disabled according to SSA standards. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, applicants must be unable to perform any substantial work and have a medical condition that has lasted (or is expected to last) at least a year, or will result in death. Some people believe they can collect disability benefits just because they can’t do their regular job. However, the SSA takes into consideration the type of work the applicant has been doing as well as anything else they believe the applicant is capable of in his or her present condition.
- Applying at the wrong time. To be considered disabled by the SSA, your disabling condition must be expected to last for 12 months or longer. If you apply for benefits too soon after your initial diagnosis, you may be denied under the assumption that your condition might improve. On the other hand, if you wait too long to apply, you could face gaps in coverage and lose opportunities for future benefits.
- Not presenting adequate evidence. Many applicants believe the consultative exam will provide enough evidence to support your claim. However, your claims examiner will also want to see all of your medical records, a list of all of the doctors you have seen, evidence that you have made an effort to recover, a list of your medications, and more.
- Ignoring doctors’ orders. Some applicants think that if they follow a doctor’s treatment plan and their condition improves, their application will be less likely to be approved. However, the opposite is true. The SSA will want to see that you have cooperated with your doctors and continue to be unable to work despite medical treatment.
- Not hiring an experienced attorney. Disability claims are complicated and there is no way the average layman can possibly navigate the system alone. When you work with a disability attorney in Indiana, you can be sure you will avoid the above mistakes and present the strongest possible claim.
Keller & Keller can help you decide whether filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits is the right choice. Social Security’s disability process can be daunting, and the agency follows a variety of complicated rules when evaluating your claim. When we file your application, we will help you submit evidence in the manner most likely to win your claim.
Get Started With Our Social Security Lawyers Today!
When you call Keller & Keller, our Social Security attorneys will help with filing your application for benefits, and will evaluate and begin developing your case before your application is even filed. Our trained staff understands Social Security’s complicated application process, and will guide you through it from the very beginning. Don’t risk wasting months of your time—and losing access to much-needed benefits—by trying to go it alone. Call Keller & Keller for a free consultation today.