Most likely, you thought Social Security Disability Insurance benefits would bring you some relief. If you are suffering from a medical condition or injury that prevents you from working, SSDI can provide you with funds to assist you with your bills and lost wages. However, you have to qualify, and then you must apply.
The problem is that only about one third of all first attempts to obtain benefits are successful. The Social Security Administration rejects the rest of the claims after a rigid evaluation. Many of these denied claimants have better luck on appeal, but it may help you to understand some of the reasons why the SSA denies claims in the first place.
Do you qualify?
Qualifying for disability benefits begins with having an illness or condition that the SSA accepts as eligible for benefits. Additionally, your qualifying condition must make it impossible for you to work for at least one year, or doctors expect your illness will result in your death. Of course, even if your condition is not specifically named on the SSA's list of conditions, your symptoms may still qualify you. What may disqualify you is any of the following factors:
- Your income is higher than the SSA limits for disability.
- You did not submit sufficient documentation to the SSA, including evidence of treatment, or you did not follow the instructions for filing a claim.
- You did not notify the SSA of a change of address or contact information.
- You did not complete your medical treatment or follow your doctor's instructions for care.
- Your illness or condition is directly related to the abuse of alcohol or drugs.
- You are serving a sentence in prison for a felony conviction.
- You suffered an injury while in prison or during the commission of a felony for which a court convicted you.
The SSA takes each case individually and examines its merits, and if any of these points applies to you, there may be a valid explanation that will convince agents of your eligibility for benefits.
If none of the factors listed above applies to your situation, you may have more success with the appeals process. This process may require you to gather additional documentation or even seek opinions from other doctors or specialists. With the assistance of a Georgia attorney who has experience in SSDI claims and appeals, you may find guidance and answers to your questions.