Finding yourself unable to pay your bills or provide for your family as the result of an injury can be one of the most stressful life events many will face. Uncertainty regarding your financial future can combine with your physical pain or injury to create a seemingly never ending spiral. Filling out your application for what you have always believed to be a last chance lifeline for those in your position, only to find your claim denied, can feel like the straw that broke the camel's back.
If you've been denied social security disability benefits, you know this feeling all too well. Before you throw in the towel, it's important to know your rights in case of an initial Social Security disability claim denial. Here we break down some of the basics to help you navigate the denial waters and make an informed decision about your next steps in the claims process.
The Basic Requirements of a SS Disability Claim
While the laws that go into determining eligibility for a Social Security disability claim are complex, there are several fundamental requirements that applicants should keep in mind. Successful applicants for SS benefits due to disability must show that:
- The applicant is not engaged in gainful activity
- The applicant has a severe impairment
- The medical condition causing the condition meets the criteria in the SS administration's list of impairments
- The applicant cannot return to their past work
- The applicant is not able to find or perform other work in view of their age, education and skills
Why Was Your Claim Denied?
While the basic factors that go into deciding whether to grant or deny a social security disability claim may seem straightforward, the overwhelming majority of initial claims are denied due to the supporting evidence failing to meet the government's requirements. Nationwide, 66% of claims are denied in the initial application. In Florida, only 27% of all disability applications are approved.
There are a number of common reasons claims are denied. Applicants may have performed work after filing their claims that disqualifies them from seeking benefits. The Social Security Administration's Listing of Impairments includes detailed criteria on severity of conditions and specific symptoms which, if not properly documented, could cause your claim to be denied. Your medical doctor providing treatment for your condition should also thoroughly describe why you are not able to return to even a modified version of your prior employment or another position you may be qualified for, as the court relies on this evidence to make their determination.
Time is of the Essence
In addition to knowing why your claim was denied, applicants should have a thorough understanding of certain time limitations they may have to respond to initial denials. These time limits are hard caps on a claimant's ability to indicate they will be appealing a denial decision. Applicants generally have 60 days, starting from the date of receipt of denial, in which to file an appeal. While this may seem like a great deal of time, medical appointments, affidavits, statements and other evidence can take time for those unfamiliar with the process to compile and the claims appeal deadline can sneak up on you before you know it.
The Benefits of Legal Representation
To ensure timely responses during the appeals process, accurate preparation of needed documents and to help achieve the best possible outcome after an initial denial of claim, applicants for Social Security disability benefits should feel free to seek legal representation to provide assistance throughout the entire appeals process and beyond. An initial denial of your SS benefits claim should not be viewed as a judgment as to whether your claim is valid. The complicated and often frustrating requirements can be difficult for even the most sophisticated applicants without in depth knowledge of the process.
Hiring a disability to represent you throughout your claim ensures that you have experience on your side during this stressful period. If your Social Security benefits claim has been denied, the experienced attorneys at Justin McMurray, P.A. are available to assist in getting you the legal remedies you deserve. Call today for a free quote and find out how legal counsel can benefit you in your disability legal action.