According to Social Security statistics, only 44% of all applications for social security disability benefits are approved nationwide. That means that 56% of all people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are denied in the end. Clearly applying for Social Security disability is a daunting task, but with preparation and knowledge of the system a claimant can significantly increase the chances of being accepted for disability. Below are the five reasons most people are denied Social Security disability benefits and recommendations to address those issues:
1) LACK OF SUFFICIENT WORK CREDITS – You qualify for Social Security benefits by earning Social Security credits when you work in a job and pay Social Security taxes. You can earn up to four credits per year with the number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depending on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which need to be earned in the 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. Basically, to be eligible for disability you must have 10 years of full-time employment with five of those years being in the 10 year period before the date you apply. In order to avoid being denied disability due to lack of work credits it is best to apply for disability as quickly as possible after you stop working. Generally speaking, if you wait more than five years from the last date you work you will not be eligible for Social Security disability insurance benefits.
2) LACK OF ROUTINE MEDICAL TREATMENT – If you are not going to the doctor on a regular basis, your chances of having a successful social security disability claim are minimal. You must go to a medical doctor regularly, at least once every 3-4 months. Longer periods without treatment may be seen by the Social Security Administration as evidence of the lack of severity of your condition. Their regulations also require that your condition be documented by objective medical findings such as physical examinations and diagnostics studies that only a medical doctor can perform and document. Your primary task as a claimant to assist in winning your claim is to go to the doctor and go to the doctor consistently. If you cannot afford a doctor, speak to your representative about free local medical services available in your area.
3) LACK OF A MEDICAL SOURCE STATEMENT – Routine medical treatment will get you most of the way to a successful claim, but having a doctors opinion on what physical activities you can and cannot do at work is what puts post claimant’s over the line to winning their claim. Your representative should provide you with Medical Source Statement forms to take to your physicians to complete. These forms address both exertional and non-exertional limitations that may make full time work difficult or impossible. The answers to these questions are used at the hearing with the Social Security judge to question vocational experts regarding what work may existing in your region and the nation. The more limitation assigned by your treating doctor, the better your chances will be that the vocational expert testifies that there is no work available due to your medical condition, thus resulting in a favorable decision by the judge.