Solange McDaniel - Attorney
Erica Winters - Legal Assistant
Social Security Disability - Frequent Questions
Herndon, Coleman, Brading & McKee has successfully handled social security and disability claims for many years. We continually strive to serve our clients with the most current and effective solutions possible. Our social security disability attorneys and excellent support staff, who are very skilled at gathering, organizing and summarizing client medical records, proactively file claims and move them forward so as to not delay the claims process. Very simply, we deliver results for our clients.
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Social Security Disability Insurance: 6 Reasons Your Claim Was Denied
Every time you receive a paycheck from an employer, you have taxes withheld from that check. A portion of these taxes go toward Social Security benefits. One of the benefits offered through the Social Security Administration (SSA) is disability insurance. While hard to believe, nearly two-thirds of all initial claims for disability benefits are denied. An even higher rate of claims are denied during the appeal process, which is referred to as reconsideration. Some claims are denied based upon insufficient evidence of disability, paperwork errors, or suspicion of fraudulence. Here we will discuss the most common reasons your disability claim has been denied:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are paid based on the amounts you paid into Social Security as part of your payroll taxes. If you find that you are no longer able to work and will be unable to work for a year or more due to a disability, you should apply for SSDI benefits as soon as possible. If you are still working but have had to reduce you hours, it is possible to obtain SSDI benefits but may be more difficult. If your employment income is higher than the level established by SSA (known as “substantial gainful activity”), you will not be eligible to draw SSDI benefits.
Lack of Medical Evidence
Many SSDI claims are denied due to a lack of solid medical evidence. If you are looking to qualify for disability benefits, you need to be able to prove that you are unable to work due to a severe medical condition. In order to succeed at this, you must have medical records from your doctor which show that your disability has interfered with your ability to carry out work-related tasks.
If your disability is based on drug or alcohol abuse, there is a high likelihood that your claim will be denied. While SSA will approve benefits for claimants suffering from physical and mental impairments as a result of past drug and alcohol abuse, such substances may not be a continuing factor in consideration for disability. If SSA determines that you would not be disabled with the removal of alcohol or drug abuse, your claim will be denied.
Failure to Follow Treatment
If you fail to follow the treatment prescribed to you by your doctor, your SSDI claim will be denied. Treatments for physical disabilities tend to be more clearly defined, but those seeking disability benefits for mental ailments may find that the SSA states that they lack evidence. In these instances, it’s crucial that all treatment is documented and adhered to. If an examiner can not accurately determine whether or not your condition actually prevents you from working, a denial is likely.
Failure to Cooperate
It is in your best interest to cooperate with those individuals who are handling your SSDI claim. You must release medical records when indicated, answer any questions posed by the SSA, attend medical examinations when asked, and provide any and all documentation requested in a timely manner. Otherwise, your claim may be denied.
Many people think that filing a new claim is preferred over filing an appeal. This is not the case. If the person reviewing your application determines that you have applied previously and were denied benefits, it’s likely to happen again.
The SSA Cannot Locate You
It’s vital to keep the SSA updated with current contact information if you move or plan on leaving home for an extended period of time. Your claim may get denied if the SSA cannot reach you to get additional information needed to issue an approval.
To maximize your potential to receive benefits, consider getting assistance from a Social Security attorney at Herndon, Coleman, Brading, & McKee. If you have been denied SSDI benefits, you should seek out help in filing an appeal. Attorneys provide expertise in filing paperwork and presenting cases, which can make all the difference you need to qualify for the benefits you deserve. Give us a call at 423-434-4700 today to get started on your claim.
Why you should appeal if denied disability benefits
If you are unable to maintain full time, substantial employment due to a disability then you should be receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. It’s getting these benefits that can sometimes be a long difficult process. Obtaining disability benefits can take years and many people are unaware that an initial denial is not the end of the road. That they should appeal.
Every year millions of people file initial applications for disability benefits. Approximately 74% percent of those initial applications are denied. This does not mean that those people are not entitled to disability benefits. Many denials at the initial stage occur because of technical issues with the application that could be easily fixed through the appeal process and with the assistance of any attorney.
Unfortunately, less than half of those whose initial applications are denied, appeal the denial and move on to the reconsideration stage. Once you receive a denial you have 60 days to appeal the decision. Appealing does not cost any money and it sends your application to the state Disability Determination Services (“DDS”) for review. This is a second chance for your application to be approved and DDS will look at any new medical records you may have before they make a decision. If you have an attorney representing you, your attorney will even file the appeal for you.
If you are denied at the reconsideration stage, don’t stop there. Again, you have 60 days to appeal and at this stage, you can ask for an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (“ODAR”) to review your application. Your attorney will do the appeal for you and will gather all of your medical records. Those medical records will be sent to the Judge and are essential to getting your application approved. You will then have a hearing before the ALJ and with the assistance of your attorney you will be able to illustrate to the ALJ how your disability prevents you from working. It’s at this stage that many people are approved and receive their disability benefits.
If your application is denied by the ALJ you can still appeal to the Appeals Council and even on to Federal Court. It is definitely worth discussing with your attorney whether your application is one that should be appealed further. Many people are approved at the Federal Court level.
If your disability prevents you from working and you have been denied disability benefits, contact an attorney at 423-434-4700 for help appealing your case, it is absolutely worth it to receive the benefits you are entitled to.