3 Things That Can Get Your Disability Claim Denied

If you have a condition that prevents you from being able to work like you need to, filing for disability benefits can be your only option. However, it is estimated that only 35% of all disability claims are accepted on the first try. That means 65% of first-time applicants get denied and must start the appeals process. Here are three things that can get your disability claim denied.

1. Your application didn't include enough medical documentation.

Most people know they have to include medical documentation with their disability application. The problem is that they don't know how much they need to include, so they usually don't include enough. There is really no such thing as too much medical documentation when it comes to your disabling condition, so send everything you can get your hands on.

Another thing that you need to remember when it comes to the medical documentation that you submit is that you need to send plenty of records from recent visits to the doctor. If you haven't seen a doctor for your condition recently, then the Social Security Administration (SSA) is going to wonder if you actually still have your disabling condition.

Send in your medical records that document your condition from the beginning, but you also need to make sure you have medical records from the past six months to show the SSA that you still have the condition.

2. You didn't comply with treatment that would have helped your disabling condition.

When evaluating an application for disability benefits, the SSA looks to see if you have complied with your doctor's treatment plan. If you haven't, then you will likely be denied for disability. 

You have to prove that you are doing everything you can to still be able to work. If you refuse to go along with a treatment plan your doctor says should help your condition, then the SSA thinks you are just wanting to stay home and draw a check without working.

Of course, there are some valid reasons that the SSA will accept if you don't follow your doctor's treatment plan. Some valid excuses include:

  • You can't afford the treatment
  • The treatment violates your religious beliefs
  • The treatment contradicts what another doctor says
  • The treatment is surgery that is too risky
  • The treatment involves amputation

That's just a small sample of the valid reasons the SSA will accept for not complying with treatment. Whatever reason you give them will need to be backed up by verifiable information though. 

3. You make too much money.

Your income can also affect your disability claim. The basis of your disability claim is that you can't work full-time because of your condition, so you can't make over a certain amount when getting disability benefits.

The SSA doesn't want claimants to not work at all. So, they have what's called the "substantial gainful activity" or SGA. This tells how much a person can make every month and still get disability benefits. The SGA for 2015 is $1,090 if you aren't a blind recipient and $1,820 if you're blind.

You can't make over the SGA amount at the time of your application or after you start receiving benefits. If you do make more than that when you apply, your application will be denied and you will need to appeal.