Why Were My Social Security Disability Benefits Denied? If your disability prevents you from working, you could be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. The Division of Disability Determination (DDD), following federal guidelines, is generally responsible for determining medical eligibility for disability benefits. Both physical and mental disabilities, if severe enough, can lead to your eligibility for benefits. You may be considered for disability benefits if your impairment:
- Prohibits you from working at all or full time
- Is expected to last for at least 12 months
- Is expected to end in death
However, the claims process can create a number of pitfalls and complex challenges. Moreover, having an initial claim for Social Security Disability benefits denied is not a rarity. Denial of benefits happens to hundreds of thousands of applicants each year, according to figures provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA rejected more than half of all applications for benefits in the year 2017 alone.
What are the Reasons for Benefit Denial?
There are a variety of reasons why your Social Security Disability benefits could be denied. Some applications are denied due to technicalities, which can include mistakes on the actual application form or missing important documents. Many individuals are denied if their condition, or the severity of their condition, does not actually qualify as a disability under the SSA’s guidelines. Other reasons why you may not be denied for disability can include:
- Refusing to cooperate with the SSA, such as not providing additional information about your claim when contacted
- Not providing enough medical documentation of your disability
- Failing to follow a doctor’s orders or prescribed treatments
- A disability that was caused by alcohol or drug abuse
- Conviction of a crime
- Committing benefit fraud
What Is the Blue Book?
The so-called “Blue Book” is officially named “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security” and lists conditions that can qualify individuals for disability benefits. The “Blue Book”, however, is a large and comprehensive guide that can be challenging to read and understand. An experienced attorney can help you understand whether your condition meets the “Blue Book” criteria for receiving Social Security Disability benefits. If your condition is not listed in the “Blue Book”, you may still be able to receive benefits, provided your condition prevents you from working. An experienced Social Security Disability benefits attorney often knows how to make a case for you even if your condition is not contained in the “Blue Book”.
It is important to note that a denial of a claim for any reason is not necessarily the final word, and applicants generally have recourse. If your claim has been denied for any reason, you should consult with a Social Security lawyer immediately as you have the right to appeal. At Schaffer & Associates, our experienced team will work tirelessly to help you receive the disability benefits you deserve.
What Can I Do if my Social Security Disability Benefits are Denied?
If you received a denial on your disability application, you should request an appeal as soon as possible. The appeal request must be made in writing within 60 days of the date of the denial notice. Appealing may not always the best decision, however. Occasionally, in some cases, filing an entirely new claim may be more beneficial. Starting from scratch with your disability benefits claim can be beneficial if:
- You now have a wealth of new medical evidence for your disability that you did not have when you first filed your claim.
- Your condition is now much worse than when you filed the initial claim
Find out more about your legal rights when you receive a denial notice by contacting a dedicated attorney who handles and truly understands Social Security Disability claims.
Your Social Security Disability attorney can advise you, answer your questions, help with all aspects of your application, and ensure that you have the best chance of receiving your benefits. They can discuss your options with you, based on your personal circumstances and the nature of your disability. We at Schaffer & Associates understand the Social Security Disability system and can fight for the benefits you are entitled to under the law.
A Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help
Having a Social Security Disability lawyer working for your best interests can be important from the moment you are considering filing a claim. If you file a claim on your own and receive a denial, you should carefully consider whether you want to fight for disability benefits on your own. Having professional help can be absolutely crucial. An attorney can help in several ways, including but not limited to:
- Working as your advocate in all matters regarding your claim
- Communicating with the SSA and progressing your claim
- Presenting your case in the strongest way
- Gathering and submitting important medical reports proving your claim
- Making sure all your documents are filed on time to meet deadlines
- Assisting with the appeals process
- Preparing you for administrative hearings and questioning
- Providing expert witness testimony to strengthen and prove your claim
Disability claims can be exceedingly complex and detailed. If your claim was denied, do not despair. Contact us for help. Attorneys at Schaffer & Associates know how the claims process works and what the DDD is looking for when they review your claim. The help of a seasoned and detail-oriented Social Security Disability benefits attorney can be crucial for obtaining your disability benefits. Let us help you receive the benefits you and your family need and deserve. Call Schaffer & Associates, LPA, now for a free case evaluation at (419) 350-8277.