If you suffer from a serious injury or a chronic health condition, you may have difficulty sustaining yourself financially. Luckily, you can always get assistance if you make a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
But most people who apply for SSD benefits often get denied claims. In fact, a whopping 64% of SSD applicants have their claims rejected for specific reasons.
You can increase your chances of acceptance if you can learn why so many claims are denied in the first place. Below are three common reasons for an SSD claim rejection.
1. Insufficient or Irrelevant Medical Proof
Complete medical records don't only address your disability. They should also have details about how the disability impedes your working capability. Unfortunately, most SSD applicants don't provide complete or relevant medical records that prove their disability.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses notes and logs from your primary care physician to decide if you qualify for disability benefits. If there are no relevant records from your doctor that show how your disability prevents you from working, you can expect a rejection of your claim.
Besides a doctor's recommendation, the following factors could also work in your favor when you want to prove disability:
- Exhausted treatments or medications. You may have to prove your efforts when experimenting with different treatment options for your illness or injury. Relevant documents that show what types of treatment you've tried in the past can help out a great deal.
- Second medical opinion. If you can, seek an opinion from more than one doctor. This way, the SSA can verify that your disability has made it completely impossible for you to work, despite all your efforts.
You should disclose everything to your doctor about your disability to help them clearly voice their medical opinion. Relevant documents that prove why you may need a modified work schedule or why you can't work at all are critical when you apply for an SSD claim.
2. High Monthly Income
Generally, SSD approvals prioritize applicants who can't work due to their disability. As such, your claim may get denied if you work long hours and earn a significant amount of money.
Although you can still work with a disability, you're limited to a specific income (set by an SSA formula) every month. The idea behind this is because they often work with low-income persons who live with disabilities.
Remember that your earnings don't include money you get from loans that you still have to repay. Additionally, any earnings from investments you've made in the past may not be considered during your application. The SSA assumes that there isn't any certainty that you'll still make money from such investments in the future.
3. Failure to Follow Doctor's Recommendations
If you ignore your doctor's orders for rehabilitation and treatment, your SSD benefits claim can be rejected. Medical instructions for your disability may include regular use of prescription drugs, several clinic appointments, and performing specific rehabilitation exercises.
However, this rule may not always apply for the following reasons:
- Your disability doesn't allow you to perform certain prescribed exercises
- Certain therapy exercises conflict with your religious beliefs
- You cannot afford the prescribed treatment cost
Sometimes, the SSA may ask you to take a second medical examination for their own record. They may appoint another physician to perform the exam. If you don't comply with this guideline, the SSA might reject your SSD application for failure to cooperate.
Another important tip to ensure that your claim goes through is to provide any documents on time if the SSA asks. Also, make sure to show up whenever you're asked to come in for further verification.
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