Several federal programs are in place to assist those with disabilities, but none are more significant than Supplemental Security Income and Social Security. Although these programs do differ vastly, they are both governed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Disabled individuals can apply for this federal assistance as long as they meet specific criteria; however, a vast majority of those who are disabled find it challenging to secure the benefits they need.
Many of those who successfully navigate the applications process commonly receive a denial, and are left to afford medical expenses while unable to earn wages due to their disability. Being knowledgeable of the intricacies of the claims and appeals process can help you file an error-free disability claim.
Who can Apply for Social Security Disability
Not all disabled individuals qualify for Social Security benefits. You must fit SSA’s definition of disabled which is differs greatly from many other programs. Social Security only pays those who have a total disability. They do not issue compensation for partial or short-term disability. People commonly apply for Social Security benefits due to:
- Terminal illnesses
- Severe physical illnesses
- Statutory blindness
- Restricting illnesses
Those approved are eligible for medical insurance and housing grants. Individuals may also have the chance to return to work and continue to receive benefits.
Why Your Social Security Disability Claim was Denied
Numerous individuals suffering from long-term illnesses find themselves on the receiving end of application denials with little knowledge as to why. Unfortunately, roughly 65% of all applications for Social Security benefits result in a denial. The majority of denied claims are a result of one or a combination of the following:
Lack of Treatment Records
Physical ailments tend to have the most transparent documentation, but mental illnesses can be difficult to prove. This is especially true for individuals who receive prescriptions from a general practitioner, but do not have a primary physician to see for a follow-up or request treatment records from.
Criminal Conviction Related Disability
SSA will deny your claim if:
- A felony conviction lead to imprisonment.
- You sustained the disability while imprisoned.
- You sustained the disability while committing a felony and was convicted.
You Make Too Much Money
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are dependent on the amount paid into Social Security combined with your payroll taxes. If your income surpasses the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level set by the SSA, the government doesn’t recognize you as disabled to the point where you require assistance.
Drug or Alcohol Related Disability
Your disability developed as a result of drug or alcohol use or abuse. If the SSA believes that you would not be disabled without the presence of such substances, they can deny your claim.
SSA Cannot Reach You
The SSA will reach out to you to schedule examinations and clarify application details among other things. After several unsuccessful contact attempts, they can deny your claim for not fulfilling the requirements of the claims process.
Disability Will Last Less Than a Year
If your condition is not terminal and you cannot prove that it will last longer than a year, the SSA will deny your benefits.
You Disobeyed Doctor’s Orders
Your doctor will prescribe therapy to help with your condition. You can expect to receive a claim denial if you do not follow the therapy plan.
Simply not following directions of the claims process is also a significant reason why the SSA will deny your claim. The SSA receives an endless number of applications daily. The best way to set yourself up for benefit approval is to ensure that you do everything required on your end and be fully aware of what it takes to qualify for benefits.
The Social Security Disability Appeals Process
Due to a vast majority of applications for SSDI benefits resulting in denials, many people pursue an appeal. If you do not believe that any of the aforementioned factors apply to you, you may benefit from this process. Much like the initial claims process, there are numerous strict rules and filing guidelines to follow when pursuing an appeal. Be sure to pay close attention to every step to ensure that you do not interfere with the success of your appeal.
The best way to ensure that your SSDI Benefit appeal is filed properly and in accordance with Michigan law is to acquire the assistance of a Social Security attorney from Michigan Legal Center. Our attorneys can guide you through the appeals process and serve as your legal representation if your appeal reaches the federal court. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.