Why Was My Disability Claim Denied and Do I Need an Attorney?

If you have a disability, chances are that you have applied for social security disability benefits at some point in your life. However, did you know that only thirty-percent of claimants are approved after their first claim? That’s pretty low, right? Being denied benefits can be frustrating, especially if you are already in considerable physical pain or you are worried about your financial situation because you can’t work. So why is your claim getting denied? We’ve compiled the top 5 reasons below and when it’s appropriate to seek the advice of an attorney. 

1. You Haven’t Presented Enough Evidence

Sometimes a disability benefits claim isn’t supported by enough medical evidence. While you may have a genuine benefits claim, there will be hundreds of others who do not. The Social Security Administration has a very low threshold of tolerance for those who are trying to fiddle with the system. Because of this, strong medical evidence is needed to back up your benefits claim. 

You’ll need medical records that prove your claim of disability. This should ideally be documentation that has built up over time. Example of documentation can include: 

  • Records of treatment that you have had with doctors and medical professionals
  • Lists of medication and treatment that you have been prescribed
  • Records from modified work schedules due to disability

If you don’t have this evidence, don’t expect to have your disability claim approved. If you need professional help compiling and presenting this evidence, consider contacting a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) attorney who can help support your claim in court. 

2. Your Income is Too High

For SSDI benefits, your income doesn’t become relevant. However, for SSI benefits claimants, you can work part time and earn money while still receiving support. However, if you earn above the threshold of $880 per month, you could find that your disability claim is denied. You need to be able to prove that you cannot work due to your disability. If you make less than this amount, but were still denied, consider consulting an attorney.

3. You Have Previous Denials

Being rejected time and time again for disability benefits can become frustrating, especially if you have a valid case and you have the medical evidence to back it up. It can be very tempting to file a new disability benefits claim, rather than appealing the one that has recently been denied. The moment an official spies that you have had a recent claim denied, they may assume that you are continually reapplying for benefits. While this is out of sheer frustration and a valid need, other individuals can view your continual claims in a cynical light. People, however rightly or wrongly, make assumptions, and will deny a claim if you don’t go through the full appeals process. Consider hiring a social security attorney to support you during the appeals process. 

4. You’ve Refuse The Doctor’s Orders

It’s important that you listen to the medical professionals that you have consultations with. They may prescribe treatment or medication in an effort to make you feel better and improve your quality of life. It is in your best interests to follow the guidance of your doctor. Refusal to follow a treatment plan will ring alarm bells with the Social Security Administration and will deny your disability claim.

The main reason for this denial is that an official will find it impossible to determine whether your current physical condition makes you incapable to work if you have refused to follow doctors orders. If you don’t want to follow a treatment plan for a valid reason, you will need to make this clear during any appeals process that you go through. Ensure that you employ the services of a Social Security Disability lawyer to represent you if you have to attend any hearings.

5. You Aren’t Cooperating

Even if you are feeling angry, upset or depressed, it’s not wise to refuse to cooperate with the Social Security Administration. If you are asked to complete forms, post or collate evidence, or turn up to a hearing, make sure that you do. It’s all too tempting to bury your head in the sand, but the only person you are harming is yourself. Instead, you need to remain in contact with your named individuals and let them know how you are feeling. Have a meeting with them and show them all of the evidence that you have built up. If you don’t have any at all, then you cannot expect your claim to be approved.

There are many routes to appeal if your initial claim for disability benefits is denied. Ensure that you go down the official channels and appeal with evidence to back up your genuine claim. If you do get to a disability hearing and you are well prepared, you have over 60 percent chance of having your claim approved. However, you may need to ensure that you have the support of a Social Security lawyer in an effort to win your case.