How Hard Is It To Get Disability Benefits?

Even if you believe you are entitled to disability benefits and think you have the evidence to prove you qualify, 70% of initial applicants are initially denied disability benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

What Makes It Hard To Qualify

Many social security disability claims are denied because the medical evidence provided by the claimant is often insufficient, limiting the chance of success.  In order to qualify for disability benefits the evidence needs to show you are unable to work due to your disability.  

Reasons for a disability benefit denial include the following:

  • failure of your doctor to provide full documentation of your illness or injury;
  • when a claimant is sent by the SSA for a medical examination this isn’t a guarantee that a disability claim will be approved;
  • failure to discuss with your physician how the disability affects your ability to work;
  • failure to provide notes to the SSA from your doctor provided to your employer asking for you to be excluded from certain jib duties.

Other reasons that make it hard to qualify for disability benefits include:

  • if you are still working and earn more than $910 per month when you apply for Social Security Disability, your claim may get denied;
  • the SSA only approves social security disability claims for those who cannot work due to their disability;
  • you have not followed the treatment prescribed by your doctor which makes it hard for the SSA to determine if your disability prevents you from going to work;
  • not cooperating with the SSA by providing the requested documents or failing to attend a medical exam arranged by the SSA.

The Blue Book Listing and Disability Benefits

The SSA assesses each claim by referring to the Blue Book. This contains fourteen different categories of medical conditions, including diagnoses, symptoms and treatment. The first thing the SSA does when receiving your disability benefit claims application is to find your medical condition in the Blue Book.

If it is not listed, then it could be hard to qualify for disability benefits. However, you may find it under another of the 14 categories which may not be so easy to identify, but in this case you will need to support your claim with the right evidence.

There are some situations when whatever you do you will not qualify for disability benefits but sometimes the SSA will ask you to complete a residual function capacity form (RFC). The RFC determines the amount of work you can do given the limitations of your medical condition. Your physician is the person who is permitted to complete the RFC form and will use your medical history and some tests you will be asked to do when filling in the appropriate information on the form.

What Makes It Easier To Qualify

Overall, it is much easier to qualify if your medical condition is listed in the Blue Book and also by your physician to do an RFC.  A disability attorney may make it easier. A lawyer can go through your evidence and help you locate your condition in the Blue Book which will help ensure your disability benefit application is not denied by the SSA.

Complete the Free Case Evaluation to get in touch with a lawyer that can help you file a claim.

Additional Resources

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