As mentioned previously on this blog space, Social Security Disability benefits provide financial benefit to those who are unable to work any more. Millions of people across the country apply for these benefits every year and Houston residents may be surprised to hear that nearly 70 percent of first time claims are denied. It can seem very upsetting when one’s claim is denied, but the option of appealing the decision does exist. However, before doing so, it is important to understand why the claim was denied in the first place, so the same mistake is not made.
The most common reason for denial is because the non-medical requirements are not met. This means that the claimant is not eligible-the SSA will not even get to the medical records if basic eligibility criteria is not met. This amounts to a technical denial if the claimant earns more than the gainful activity limit or has insufficient work credits. The second reason flows along the same lines-if the disability is not going to last more than one year or result in death, or prevent the claimant from performing all work, the claim will be denied. To qualify, the disability must prevent the claimant from performing all substantial gainful activity, not just some.
If the SSA senses that someone has not complied with the doctor’s orders, they view it as the claimant being unwilling to help oneself, and can deny the claim on this basis. They may also deny the claim if the claimant is not cooperating with the SSA, such as not showing up for exams or giving SSA permission to collect medical files. Working closely with a doctor to show a clear progression of the illness, from when it started to the condition currently, is very important, as a failure to show strong medical evidence can also be a reason the claim is denied.
A denied social security claim can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be the end. It may be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney for guidance on how to proceed to get the benefits that one deserves.