By Dennis L. Plank, Attorney
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits exist to provide financial assistance to individuals unable to work due to severe illness or injury. These benefits aim to alleviate the financial burden of medical bills and other expenses associated with the disability.
However, obtaining approval for disability benefits can be a daunting task. While filing a claim may seem straightforward, the Social Security Administration (SSA) scrutinizes applications through a rigorous review process.
Unfortunately, many deserving applicants are denied benefits due to technical errors in their application or lack of sufficient medical evidence. Even worse, the applicant only has sixty days to appeal when the SSA denies their disability benefits claim.
To avoid denied benefits, meeting the deadlines associated with the initial application and any additional requests is crucial. In addition, being vigilant and promptly following up with the Social Security Administration can also increase the chances of a successful appeal if a claim is denied.
If your SSD claim is denied, you may have to take the following steps within sixty days to contest the decision to potentially receive benefits.
Identify Errors in the Application
Filing disability benefits claims involves extensive paperwork and documentation. So it’s not surprising that incomplete or inaccurate paperwork is a common reason for claim denial. The SSD claim form requires applicants to provide personal information, work history, medical information, and relevant documents such as proof of citizenship or military discharge papers.
Even the slightest discrepancy or missing information, such as an incorrect phone number or misspelled name, can result in a claim denial. Therefore, applicants must ensure that all information provided is accurate and consistent across all forms and documents. Medical information must include details about doctors, hospitals, and clinics involved, dates of visits, laboratory and test results, diagnosed conditions, and treatments.
If a claim is denied, legal representation from experienced attorneys such as The Law Offices of Going and Plank can help by reviewing paperwork and gathering missing information or documents for the appeals process.
Prior Denials May Affect Current SSD Status
Some individuals may choose to file a new SSD claim instead of appealing a denied one. However, this approach can negatively affect their chances of approval. Multiple applications can be seen as a red flag, potentially leading to a denial of benefits.
To increase the likelihood of a successful outcome, it is recommended to pursue an appeal rather than submitting a new claim if it has been rejected. This approach involves presenting new evidence and arguments to have the applicant’s case re-evaluated.
It is important to note that a denied claim must be appealed within sixty days of receiving the decision to avoid losing the right to appeal. Seeking the assistance of a seasoned Social Security Disability attorney can help navigate the appeals process and prevent potential errors that may lead to a claim being denied.
The Importance of a Medical Assessment
Getting a medical assessment and adhering to the prescribed treatment is crucial after an injury or illness. Failure to comply with medication or physical therapy can give the impression that the applicant is not attempting to return to employment, potentially leading to a denied disability claim.
When applying for Social Security disability benefits, it’s important to note that the individual’s medical condition prohibits them from working. Therefore, even part-time paid work could suggest to the SSA that the applicant can support themselves, leading to a denied claim.
One must adhere to the medical treatment plan and avoid paid work until medically cleared to prevent any issues. Additionally, submitting complete medical records and documentation to support the disability claim, such as test results, physician reports, hospitalizations, and treatments, is vital.
Follow the Doctor’s Orders Thoroughly
When applying for disability benefits, the medical evidence presented is critical in determining the outcome of the claim. Although medical records can offer some insight into an injury or medical condition, a letter from a doctor can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the injury and the applicant’s ability to perform daily activities.
Moreover, a doctor’s letter can provide valuable information on the expected duration of the disability and the necessary treatments. Adherence to the doctor’s orders during the claims process is crucial, even if the claim is initially rejected.
Disregarding prescribed medication, physical therapy, or dietary requirements may lead to another denial. The SSA may view the applicant as not following medical advice or prolonging their injury.
Following the doctor’s orders is an integral part of the claims process and can greatly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Take Deadlines Seriously
With strict time limits for document submission, missing a deadline can lead to a denied claim. Applicants must act quickly when receiving correspondence from the Social Security Administration, as failure to meet any deadline could be costly.
If applicants cannot meet a deadline, they may request an extension or have their attorney negotiate one. Seeking the guidance of a Social Security Disability attorney can help navigate the complex process.
An appeal is possible within sixty days if a claim is denied due to a missed deadline. The attorney can determine if the applicant qualifies for an appeal based on the reason for the missed deadline, which could range from a serious illness to a simple misunderstanding.
Hire a Lawyer to Help Appeal a Claim
Don’t give up if your Social Security Disability claim has been denied. With the help of a skilled Lancaster attorney, you can still obtain the benefits you deserve. At the Law Offices of Going and Plank, we understand the complexity of the appeals process and are committed to helping our clients navigate it successfully.
We identify key issues, prepare thoroughly for the hearing, and work tirelessly to recover Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of our clients. We don’t charge attorney fees unless we win your case. Contact the Law Offices of Going and Plank in downtown Lancaster today for a free consultation and let us help you fight for the benefits you need and deserve.
Want to find out more about appealing a denied social security disability claim? Read these articles:
Denied SSD Claims Must be Contested Within 60 Days