Denial of Disability Claims
In 2013, over 2.6 million disability claims were filed with 65.4 percent of them being denied at the initial level — 87.3 percent of claims were denied at the reconsideration level. This reveals the stark truth that most disability claims will be denied. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, your chances of approval can rise considerably.
Why Are Social Security Disability Claims Denied?
There are numerous reasons why your claim may be denied, but the six most common include:
- Issues with medical evidence – While you might believe you are disabled, you must be able to prove it. The way to do so is to gathering and turn in doctor’s notes, lab results, imaging, and any other medical evidence that document your illness. It’s crucial to submit each and every document, because once a claim is denied at the final stage, no new claims may be initiated based off of the same disability. In fact, if your claim was denied at every stage, a new claim will be immediately denied unless you have legitimate new evidence and a valid reason for not submitting it before.
- Not meeting the Social Security Administration’s 12-month disability duration requirement – In order to be considered for disability, you must be able to prove that your illness has lasted or will last for at least 12 months. During this period, individuals cannot perform work as usual or earn more than a designated amount of income.
- Felony conviction – If you were convicted of a felony, you may find it difficult to apply for and receive disability benefits. This is especially true for individuals who were injured during commission of the felony or were injured while incarcerated.
- Failing to follow medical advice and treatments – If you don’t follow your doctor’s recommendation for treatment following a diagnosis, you can be denied benefits — whether it’s refusing to undergo a recommended treatment, failing to take medication as prescribed, or skipping out on follow-up visits. However, individuals who can prove they were unable to get treatment due to financial hardship can still be eligible.
- Failing to follow up after a disability claim is denied – If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits and were denied, there is still hope. You can request an appeal called a Reconsideration and even file an appeal requesting a hearing on your claim. But if you fail to file the proper documents within the allotted time period, you may lose your disability claim altogether.
- Not responding to the Social Security Administration – Given the complex nature of disability claims, the SSA may attempt to reach you by phone or mail to get more information to help them decide your claim. Failing to respond to these forms of contact can result in claim denial.
What to Do if Your Claim Is Denied
If you or someone you care about has been denied Social Security Disability benefits in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, contact Ritacco Disability Law for a free consultation. We will take the time to listen and discuss your case.