SSDI – Top 3 Reasons Why Your SSID Application Was Denied
In the unfortunate scenario where you are disabled and unable to work, you may be entitled to monthly benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). A common question we hear is “Why should I hire an attorney if I can file for SSDI on my own?” First and foremost, applying for SSDI is a lengthy and complicated process that ultimately results in only about 37% of applicants being approved for benefits. Secondly, if you are not one of the lucky 37% approved and your application is denied, an experienced attorney can help you quickly and efficiently appeal the decision, increasing your chances of being approved. However, even if you hire an attorney, there are three things that will guarantee your claim is denied.
Not enough medical evidence of a disability
When you apply for benefits, your file will be sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS) to determine if you are medically disabled. The DDS will then begin the process of gathering medical information from your doctors. To be approved for SSDI, there must be medical evidence that you are unable to engage in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). Many times, people will apply for SSDI and only give one medical reason for their inability to work. For example, if someone has back pain, they will list only the doctor that treats them for their back pain. Even if that back pain is so severe they feel they cannot work, their claim will likely be denied. However, if that same person lists all the medical problems that contribute to their inability to work, such as obesity, diabetes, migraines, depression, etc., then they have a greater chance of showing that all the ailments together make it so the applicant cannot engage in SGA. Including all your doctors who treat you for your various medical conditions is just one thing you can do to increase your chances of being approved for SSDI on your first application.
Failure to participate in recommended treatment
The second thing that will surly result in a denial of your application is not following the recommendations of your doctor. As stated above, the DDS will gather medical information directly from your treating doctors and will learn how often you treat with your doctor and what treatments your doctor recommends. Once common scenario is when a doctor states in the medical records that the patient may benefit from other treatments, such as physical therapy, injections, a nerve block, etc. There are many reasons why a patient may not want to participate in the recommended treatments, including the high cost of the recommended treatment or because the patient has tried the treatment in the past with little to no success. This creates a complicated situation, and it is best to communicate these concerns with your doctor and make sure you are following their advice regarding recommended treatments. If there is recommended treatment that is not being followed, it is best to discuss this with a SSDI attorney to determine the next steps to take.
Too much income earned
Even if you are medically considered disabled, if you earn too much money, you will automatically be considered “not disabled” and your SSDI application will be denied. You will not be denied SSDI just because you engage in SGA, but there is a limit to the amount you can earn each month and still receive SSDI. If you are working and applying for SSDI, it is best to speak with an attorney to be sure you are not earning above the limit. Whether you earn too much money depends on several factors, including the nature of your disability, the type of work you are engaging in, and if you are self-employed. If you are already receiving SSDI and begin working or there is an increase in the amount you earn, your benefits may be terminated after a trial work period.
There are many other reasons why applicants are denied SSDI, including technical errors in the application and not communicating with the office reviewing your application. A seemingly simple error could mean the difference between your application being approved or denied. If you are in the process of applying for SSDI or have been denied benefits, speak with a qualified attorney now and get the benefits you are entitled to.