One of the misconceptions about disability benefits is that they are easy to get. Despite media reports that people are abusing the system left and right, our clients are shocked when they have what seems like a clear-cut case and are denied benefits. Here are four common reasons that applicants are denied.
Yep, you earn too much money. Regardless of your disability or your prognosis, if you earn too much money each month, you will not be eligible for benefits. That ratio is currently $1,070 per month ($1,800 if you are blind).
Lack of medical evidence: Hands down, one of the biggest reasons why people are denied benefits is that there is not enough medical support for the claim. Your doctor needs to know that you are filing for benefits so he is aware that you will need to document that you meet specific criteria to meet a condition. Also, keep your appointments and follow a treatment plan. If you don’t feel it necessary to visit a physician and follow orders, it weakens your case.
You won’t be disabled for more than a year or do not have a terminal condition. Keep in mind that to qualify for disability benefits, a condition must last for more than 12 months or be expected to result in death.
A filing error tripped up your application. One of the most frustrating mistakes is making a filing error when submitting your application. Missing an important deadline or filing an incomplete application could be all that is keeping you from the benefits you need. Most claims can be filed online at www.ssa.gov. If you are not comfortable filing electronically, call us and we will help you file the application (Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A., has been doing online applications since 2009.)
Other exceptions: There are exceptions, such as religious beliefs, mental illness, and financial restrictions. It’s best to discuss these issues with a qualified attorney.
Robert L. Heller has practiced law in Ohio for nearly 40 years, devoting his entire career to helping disabled people in the Mahoning Valley to pursue needed benefits. A native of Warren, Ohio, Robert earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law. He also studied public administration at American University in Washington, D.C. He is admitted to practice in Ohio state courts, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals as well as a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives (NOSSCR).