One of the most difficult decisions a person can make is deciding they are no longer physically able to work full-time. Applying for disability benefits can be very intimidating. After all, most people know that it can be quite difficult to get their benefits approved. Statistics show that only around 35% of applications are approved for benefits on the first try. That means 65% of those who apply are denied and must appeal. Here are three things that can cause a disability application denial.
1. You fail to comply with your doctor's plan for treatment.
A major reason why some disability applicants get denied is because they haven't followed their doctor's treatment plan. The reason that they deny benefits to those who don't follow their doctor's treatment orders is because they can easily assume you would be able to work if you did what your doctor recommended - whether it be take medication or some form of physical treatment.
Of course, there are valid reasons for not complying with your doctor's treatment plan. You will just need to make your case when you appeal your benefits denial. Some excuses the Social Security Administration (SSA) will accept for treatment non-compliance are:
- The treatment conflicts with other medical advice you have received
- The treatment in question goes against your religious beliefs
- The treatment involves amputation of an extremity
- The treatment is a risky surgery
- The treatment is too expensive
That list isn't exhaustive. There are many things the SSA will accept as valid excuses for not going along with what your doctor prescribed for treatment. However, it is important to understand that you will need to provide documentation in your appeal to prove your reason is valid.
2. Your condition isn't severe enough to qualify for benefits.
Another thing that can cause your application for disability benefits to be denied is if the SSA determines your condition isn't severe enough. In order for your condition to be considered "severe" by the SSA, it just prevent you from completing basic work functions.
The SSA doesn't just look at the job you were doing directly before you applied for benefits. They will look at your overall ability to complete any type of job function on a full-time basis. So, even if they think your condition is severe enough that you can't do your old job, they may still deny you benefits if it isn't severe enough to prevent you from doing any type of job at all.
3. You don't have any recent medical documentation to back up your claims.
While sending in older medical records can help give the SSA a complete picture of your condition, they require more recent records in order to approve you for benefits. It is recommended that you send in medical records dated within six months prior to your application. This will show the SSA that your condition is a current one and not one that you no longer have.
If you don't have recent medical records to send in with your application, you will likely be denied benefits. If that happens to you, be sure to see a doctor before you appeal. That way you will have the timely medical records that you need to prove your case to the SSA. Contact a disability attorney for more help.