Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Common reasons for SSD claim denials


Many first-time Social Security disability claimants are surprised by the number of claims that are initially denied. This can leave them concerned about their own claim, as well as their financial future, as they may be unable to work on account of their condition. However, by understanding disability law and how to use it to one's advantage, an individual stands a better chance at succeeding on his or her claim and recovering the benefits he or she needs.

The first step is to consider why so many initial claims are denied. There are a number of reasons. First, and perhaps most obvious, the Social Security Administration will not grant SSD benefits to those who are disabled on account of their abuse of drugs or alcohol. Second, many individuals are deemed disqualified from recovering SSD benefits because their income exceeds the limits imposed by the federal government. Therefore, individuals need to carefully consider the work in which they are engaging and consider how that interacts with this aspect of the law.

Those are not the only reasons for claim denial. The SSA may also deny a claim if the disability is expected to end within the next year. To preempt this potential denial, claimants should make sure that they have sufficient medical evidence that clearly portrays the extent and prognosis of the condition suffer from. Another common reason for denial occurs when an individual fails to prescribe to certain courses of treatment. Oftentimes, the SSA will analyze the treatment an individual receives and how the condition responded to that treatment before issuing a ruling on a SSD claim.

In order to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding on a SSD claim, the claim needs to be holistic in its approach. It needs to address income requirements, severity of the condition in question and even the treatment and prognosis received from medical professionals. Although this process may seem pretty black and white, the truth of the matter is that there are many gray areas. For this reason, those seeking initial approval of an SSD claim, as well as those who are appealing such a denial, may want to discuss the case with an experienced attorney who can help them craft strong legal arguments to further their position.

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