If you are no longer able to work because of an injury, an illness or some type of health condition, you may be able to collect benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance program. These benefits can be crucial to the survival of disabled workers and their whole families. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to apply for these benefits, and the Social Security Administration rejects most applicants the first time around. By some estimates, 60% of applications are rejected.
All this can seem discouraging, but you shouldn’t let this stop you. If you have a disability that is preventing you from working, you should know how to improve your chances of having your application accepted. One way to do that is by knowing the most common reasons the Social Security Administration rejects disability benefits applications.
Lack of documentation
One of the most common reasons for rejection is a lack of documentation. Applicants must provide detailed medical records that document their illness, injury or condition. This may include records of diagnosis, clinical visits, hospital stays and more.
Lack of sufficient work history
Workers pay into the Social Security Disability Insurance program through money taken out of their paychecks. If they become unable to work, and their disability meets the requirements, they must also show that they have paid enough into the system to receive the benefits. Typically, this means they must have worked for five of the previous 10 years. There are some exceptions for workers who are too young to have met the five-year requirement.
Lack of professional help
Finally, one of the big reasons applicants are rejected the first time is simply that they were unfamiliar with the process. Disabled people don’t always know that lawyers can help them with their Social Security Disability applications, and the Social Security Administration doesn’t always make it clear that applicants have the right to professional representation.
An attorney with experience in Social Security Disability law can help people at many stages of the process, including in the early stages, when they are gathering documentation and checking to make sure they have sufficient work history. The help of an attorney is especially important in later stages, such as hearings and appeals.