These Mistakes Will Sink Your SSD Claim
From 2001 to 2010, the Social Security Administration’s data showed that denied disability claims averaged over 50 percent. Why are so many claims denied?
There are a number of reasons, but common mistakes made on applications, like misunderstanding your condition or failure to give the right information, can lead to denial.
Our team of SSD attorneys at Carr & Carr break down some of the most common mistakes seen on SSD applications and how they can be avoided.
If you have questions about your application or need help appealing a denied claim in Oklahoma, call (866) 510-0580 for a free consultation. You can also contact the Carr & Carr office by filling out a form online.
1 | Inaccurate or incomplete medical records
You must give the SSA a detailed and thorough account of your medical history on your SSD application.
Your medical history is one of the most important parts of your application. The SSA relies on these records to decide if you’re eligible.
On your application, the SSA will ask you for medical information such as:
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of physicians, hospitals, clinics, or caseworkers that took care of you
- Dates of your medical visits
- Names and dosages of medicine you’ve taken
- Laboratory and test results
- Medical records from physicians, hospitals, clinics, therapists, or caseworkers
You’ll also need to fill out a separate form about your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. It’s important to be honest about your condition and your medical history.
Withholding information or misrepresenting your condition can not only lead to a denied claim, it can come with serious legal consequences as well.
2 | Inaccurate or incomplete employment records
To meet the earnings requirement for disability benefits, you must meet two different earnings tests. The Social Security Administration will examine:
- A recent work test, based on your age at the time you became disabled; and
- A duration of work test to ensure that you worked long enough under Social Security
If you become disabled before age 28, for example, then you generally need 1.5 years of work to meet their duration of work test requirements for benefits coverage.
You’ll need to provide employment documents like W-2 forms, pay stubs, or proof of workers’ compensation with your application.
If you don’t provide enough important details about your employment history, including details on the physical requirements of the job, you may not be giving the SSA enough information to make an informed decision about your eligibility.
3 | Waiting too late to file
You should apply as soon as you become disabled. You can apply if you’re unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months, or result in death.
Even if you don’t have all of the documents you need, like medical records or employment records, the SSA suggests you file as soon as you become disabled and do not delay.
The only reason you may not be able to file right away is if you’ve already filed once and been denied benefits in the last 60 days.
If your application was recently denied, you’ll need to appeal your denied claim and request a review of the SSA’s decision.
4 | Misunderstanding your condition or income
To be eligible for benefits, you must be unable to engage in what’s called “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA. If you are earning more than a certain monthly amount, you may be considered to be engaging in SGA, which means your claim can be denied.
The monthly SGA amount for non-blind individuals for 2021 is $1310. For statutorily blind individuals, the amount is $2190 for 2021.
Your medical condition must also significantly limit your ability to do basic physical work for at least 12 months.
If you’re able to walk, lift, stand, or sit, or your condition is expected to improve, your claim can be denied because those can be considered partial disability or short-term disability. Social Security only pays for total disability.
5 | Failure to cooperate or follow doctor’s orders
If you’ve failed to follow your doctor’s instructions for your treatment, your SSD claim may be denied. That may include taking prescribed medications, failing to attend doctor’s appointments, following physical therapy or rehabilitation exercises, and so on.
Similarly, if the SSA decides they need more medical information before they make a decision, they may ask you to undergo a special examination. If you refuse to be examined by your own doctor or by someone the SSA chooses, they can deny your claim based on your failure to cooperate.
6 | Not recruiting help from a disability attorney
You don’t need an attorney to file an SSD application, but a knowledgeable, experienced attorney can guide you through the process.
An SSD attorney can help you file your application successfully so you can begin receiving benefits without delay. If your application is denied, a lawyer can also help you appeal your claim and increase your chances of being approved.
Get help from a disability attorney in Oklahoma
If you need help filing an initial SSD application or appealing a denied claim, Carr & Carr can help. Call Carr & Carr at (866) 510-0580 to schedule a free consultation.