Many claimants will contact Ward Law Group, PLLC, after they been denied Social Security disability benefits at the application level. The Social Security Administration denies approximately 70% of initial claims it receives each year. The claimants receive a letter denying their claim and providing them with information on how to file an appeal if they disagree with the determination that was made at the initial level. The appeal process can take up to 2 years to complete as you are required to request reconsideration and thereafter file an appeal to an administrative law judge. To avoid having your disability claim denied, it is important that you understand some common mistakes that are made and why legitimate disability claims are denied on a frequent basis.
To increase your chances of being approved at the initial level, make sure that you avoid making one of the following mistakes:
- Complete the Claim Forms. In the initial application phase, the Social Security Administration will require you to fill out several forms, including a work history and function report among others. Make sure that these forms are filled out completely and that detailed answers are provided for each question. If you fail to fill out the forms completely, the social security administration can deny your claim without even looking at the merits of your case.
- Failure to Attend a Consultative Exam. The Social Security Administration will frequently require an applicant to attend a consultative exam (CE) performed by an expert. It is important to note that you are required to attend this exam, and if you fail to show up for the CE, your claim can be denied based on that fact that you failed to appear.
- Lack of Sufficient Medical Evidence. The Social Security Administration must have sufficient medical evidence in order to prove your disability claim. That means that you need to make sure that all medical records are received by Social Security in order to process your claim. Frequently, we will review social security disability cases on appeal and find that the adjudicator does not have all the relevant medical evidence. You need to ensure that the Social Security Administration has a residual functional capacity form filled out by one of your treating providers. That form will provide social security with information regarding how your conditions limit your ability to do everyday activities, including sitting, standing, walking, carrying, and lifting. Forms are critical in social security cases as many times a Social Security guidelines focus more on residual functional activities and less on your specific medical condition.
- Failure to Get Help from an Attorney Early in the Process. Many disability claims would not be denied if the individual had sought out the service of a qualified disability attorney prior to filling out the paperwork. Getting in contact with a social security disability representative can help to make sure that paperwork is properly filed and that the disability adjudicator gets all the correct documentation in order to give you the best chance to be approved for your case.
You can avoid being a statistic if you do not make one of the four mistakes outlined above.