When you’re disabled and unable to work, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is supposed to be a lifeline — but obtaining the benefits you are owed can actually be very complicated. It’s not an easy process.
In fact, it’s estimated that about two-thirds of initial SSDI claims are rejected. If that happens to you, your only real option is to ask for a reconsideration and hope that you can get your claim approved the second time around (without having to eventually ask for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge). To give yourself the best odds of success, it helps to better understand why your claim was denied. Here are some common reasons for denied claims and what you can do about them:
You don’t have enough medical evidence
If your doctors, specialists and hospitals didn’t respond to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) request for your medical records, your claim was probably decided solely on what was already in your file — and that often isn’t enough for approval. You can combat this problem by getting your missing medical records yourself and forwarding them with your reconsideration request.
You aren’t compliant with treatment
If there’s evidence in your medical records that you’re noncompliant with your doctor’s recommended course of treatment, SSA can deny your claim based on the idea that you might be able to get well. You can combat this problem by explaining to SSA why you’ve been noncompliant — whether that’s because of your religion, a pervasive fear of surgery, a lack of insurance or conflicting recommendations from another provider. If you have a reasonable excuse, SSA can overlook the issue.
You didn’t respond to requests for more information
Sometimes, SSA needs to get more medical release forms — or they simply need to clarify some information in your file. Sometimes the agency may want you to attend a consultative exam so they can get a clearer picture of your condition. If you didn’t respond to requests for information in a timely manner, your claim can be denied. Moving forward, you want to make sure that you stay in touch with SSA throughout your claims process.
If you’re struggling to get your SSDI claim approved, legal guidance can help.