3 Things That Can Get Your Disability Claim Denied

If you're like most people, you planned on being able to work full-time until it was time to retire. However, sometimes things happen to mess up plans that people make. For those who have medical conditions or injuries that hinder them from working like they need to, getting disability benefits can be the financial glue that holds their lives together. You have likely heard that a majority of people get denied for benefits when they first apply. Knowing what can cause a claim to be denied ahead of time can help you prepare for your own application. Here are three things that can get your disability claim denied.

1. You don't include enough proper medical documentation for your condition.

When you apply for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs you to include enough medical evidence to back up your claim. You can't just send in a letter from your doctor or one x-ray - you have to send in as much information as you can get from all of the doctors who have treated you for the condition. 

The SSA also wants the records you send to be more recent. If you have a history of back problems that have now gotten worse, you can include the older medical records to show how long you have had issues, but you will also need to send in documentation from recent visits to the doctor - including any diagnostic imaging or lab tests, if applicable.

Not sending in enough proper documentation prohibits the SSA from determining the validity of your claim. Therefore, they will likely deny you disability benefits without having that information made available to them.

2. You are still working full-time, therefore your income is too high.

Unfortunately, when you apply for disability benefits, you are subject to the same income limits as those who already have their benefits. That doesn't mean that you can't work at all when you apply for benefits, or after they have been awarded to you, but you can't make over a certain amount. The amount is called the substantial gainful activity (SGA), and that amount as of 2015 is $1,090 per month for non-blind persons.

3. Drugs or alcohol is deemed a contributing factor to your condition.

One thing that so many people get wrong is how the SSA views a history of drug or alcohol abuse when determining a person's eligibility for disability benefits While it won't get you an automatic denial, it also won't get you automatically approved either.

The fact is, if your condition would be greatly improved or go away completely if you stopped using drugs or alcohol, your disability claim will likely be denied. In order for your drug and alcohol use to not affect your disability claim determination, you would still have to meet the standards for disability without them.

For further assistance, contact a local disability attorney, such as Bruce K Billman.