If you are suffering from an injury or medical condition that promises to leave you unable to work for at least one year, you likely struggled to figure out how you would make ends meet during that time. This may be especially stressful if your doctor expects your condition to be chronic or to get worse.
Like many in Minnesota who are in similar situations, you filled out an application for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. To your shock, the SSA denied your request, leaving you wondering why and what your next step should be. You may be surprised to learn that the SSA denies about 70% of all first-time applicants for disability benefits. If you understand why, you may have more success when you appeal the SSA’s decision.
Are you eligible?
For many, disability benefits are a lifeline. They allow you to pay your bills, buy groceries and afford the medical treatment you may need to alleviate your pain and other symptoms. A denial of these benefits may leave you floundering for support to meet these obligations. However, because of the high levels of disability fraud, the SSA wants to make sure funds go only to those who truly qualify. Some of the most common reasons why the SSA may deny a claim for disability benefits include the following:
- You are still able to work and are gainfully employed.
- Your condition is the result of your continued abuse of alcohol or drugs.
- You have not followed your doctor’s orders for your treatment.
- Your injury occurred during the commission of a felony or while in prison on a felony conviction, or it became disabling while you were serving time in prison.
- The SSA cannot reach you because you did not notify them of a change of address or contact information.
- You made mistakes on your application, or you did not release your medical records to SSA agents.
In fact, the SSA often denies applications simply because the applicants do not provide enough information about their condition and the limitations they face. Your application or appeal documentation should include as much detail as possible, such as medical records from every doctor related to your case, records of medications, physical therapy, letters from employers and any other information that will convince SSA agents of your eligibility for benefits. The assistance of an attorney with experience in Social Security matters may prove invaluable to the application or appeals process.