Why was your disability claim rejected, how can our Georgia lawyers help?
Millions of Americans apply for Social Security disability benefits every year. Surprisingly, the Social Security Administration (SSA) declines approximately 75 percent of those applications at the initial level of the process.
What causes so many applications to be rejected on the first try?
There are 4 common reasons why a Social Security disability claim is initially denied. Understanding those reasons will help you with the application process. It will also help you with deciding whether to seek assistance from an experienced Georgia disability attorney.
1. No medical evidence to support the claim
You will need concrete medical evidence to support your disability claim. In order for the SSA to consider your claim, your medical records must show that your disability interferes with your capability to work.
For instance, if you have been receiving treatment from a doctor for constricting back pain but the medical records do not reflect how that pain impacts your ability to work, then your SSA claim for disability benefits may be denied.
Many claimants think that the SSA will direct them to doctors who will provide the necessary medical evidence to succeed with a disability claim, but this isn’t true. Social Security may send you to a doctor for a medical exam; however, this is typically not enough evidence to support your claim.
Your medical records from your primary care doctor will be critical to the success of your disability claim. It’s important that you discuss with your doctor how your disability is limiting your ability to work and that your doctor documents this in your medical records.
You will want to include all doctor’s notes that excuse you from work or request a modified work schedule to accommodate your disability. It is also crucial that you document how much time was lost from work due to the disability.
2. Previous denials
Many applicants will try to file a new SSD claim rather than appeal an initial denial. Often, the Social Security representative will quickly deny a claim that was denied previously. Therefore, it’s important to use the appeals process instead of trying again by filing a new claim.
3. Not following through with Treatment
If you do not follow your treatment plan prescribed by your doctor, the SSA will likely deny your disability claim. The Social Security examiner must be able to determine if your disabling condition is the true cause of your inability to work. You must be willing to cooperate with the treatment in an effort to get back to work without physical limits.
If you have well-founded reasons for not following your treatment plan that your physician prescribes, you may address these issues in the appeals process. If this is the case, then you will benefit from having an experienced attorney representing you at the hearing.
4. Failing to cooperate
Regardless of your personal feelings towards the representatives at Social Security who handle your claim, you must demonstrate your willingness to cooperate with them throughout the application process.
You should always provide the SSA representative with the requested documentation by the date indicated. You should also attend every scheduled medical exam as failing to do so may cause your claim to be rejected.
Also, stay in contact with the Social Security representative who handles your case. Provide each item of documentation they request in a timely fashion.
Approval rates for Social Security denial appeals
The SSA provides comprehensive guidelines for appeals that can help you go through the process.
By appealing the decision, it indicates that you truly believe that your condition negatively impacts your ability to perform work activities. It also gives you the chance to review your medical records to ensure that you have submitted all relevant information to the SSA.
In addition, there may be new information that has become available since you filed the initial claim. This new data may make your case stronger. Still, the success rate on an initial appeal is only about 14 percent.
Your best opportunity for success is typically the hearing during which you can speak to the administrative judge and present your case. You will have the chance to bring witnesses to corroborate your claims. The success rate climbs to about 62 percent at this point in the process.
Because the application and appeals process is complex, it’s helpful to consult with a Social Security disability lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. It’s best to do this when you initiate a claim to prevent your claim from being denied a second time.