Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Phone: 888-512-7031

Why are Social Security disability claims denied?

Each year, the Social Security Administration denies over 70 percent of initial claims for Social Security disability benefits. Knowing the reasons why disability benefits may be denied can help prevent a denial and form the basis of an appeal.

Although SSD benefits are paid for an approved medical condition, the SSA can issue a technical denial if the claimant does not meet financial requirements. These include earnings over the gainful activity cap of $1,090 per month. SSD also has asset limits where a person and couple cannot have $2,000 or $3,000 respectively in savings. Other property restrictions concerning ownership of more than one home or car and luxury items also apply.

Lack of cooperation is another technical denial. This includes missing an appointment at the SSA, not submitting submit correct income information, failing to report all the physicians who provided treatment, missing a consultative exam, not submitting requested medical records and not providing current contact information to the SSA.

The SSA also denies benefits if the medical condition does not prevent work for at least one year or result in death. A medical condition must prevent all substantial gainful work and not merely some work.

A claimant must follow their doctor's prescribed treatment. However, this does not weigh heavily in a denial unless it appears that a claimant is unwilling to improve their condition.

Also, a drug or alcohol addiction cannot be the major contributing cause of the disability preventing work if rehabilitation would allow the claimant to return to work. However, a claimant could be eligible if drinking caused medical problems such as cirrhosis or a mental disorder that would prevent work.

Medical records must also evidence a disability that hinders work. These should show the illnesses progression, an unambiguous start date and treatment patterns such as the impact of medications and other treatments.

Incarceration stops also benefits. However, claimants may be eligible once they are released and during parole and probation if a claimant is complying with the terms of release. A disabling condition caused by or made worse by committing a felony will render a person ineligible for benefits.

A fraudulent application is grounds for denial or termination of benefits. The government may also prosecute Social Security fraud.

An attorney can assist claimants with dealing with these issues. An attorney can also assist with the preparation of the appeal of a denial.

Source: Disabilityguide.com, "9 common reasons Social Security disability claims are denied," Accessed May 3, 2017

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