Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer If My Disability Claim is Denied?
Posted on behalf of Gordon & Partners on Feb 15, 2019 in Social Security Disability
When you apply for Social Security Disability and your claim is denied, you should consider reaching out to an attorney to represent your best interests and assist you in appealing the denial. The appeals process can be complicated without prior legal knowledge and experience in handling these cases.
Our West Palm Beach Social Security Disability attorneys at Gordon & Partners understand the strict requirements Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for to be eligible for disability benefits. We can review your denial letter, discuss the legal options available to you, gather the necessary information you need to prove your disability and help you build a strong case for reconsideration.
Reasons Disability Claims Get Denied
There are several reasons why an application for disability benefits is denied. The standard reasons include the following:
Lack of Solid Medical Evidence
Many claims are initially denied because there is insufficient medical evidence to support your disability. You need to submit medical records that show how your disabling condition interferes with your ability to work. This can also include doctor’s notes excusing you from work, work records that suggest a modified schedule or records detailing how much time you missed from work because of your disability.
Employment Income is Too High
Your income per month cannot be higher than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level as established by the SSA. If so, your claim will be denied for disability benefits. The monthly amount for 2019 is $1,220. For blind claimants, the amount is $2,040.
If you have already been denied disability benefits, it is better to appeal the denial rather than start a new claim. New claims can be denied based on being denied in the past. You may have a better chance of obtaining benefits by going through the appeal process.
Your Disability Does Not Quality
Many applicants will apply for disability benefits even when they have no qualifying disability. It is important to show a clear lack of work because of a disabling condition. There is also a listing of impairments that the SSA considers disabling if certain conditions are met.
You must prove that your disability will last for a minimum of one year or be a terminal condition to qualify for benefits. The only exception is if you are blind. Your disability also cannot be the result of drug or alcohol abuse or linked to a criminal conviction.
Not Following Doctor’s Orders
Many conditions require you to follow specific treatment protocol. This may include taking medication, following treatment instructions and preparing for medical procedures. If you do not follow doctor’s orders, this can show a lack of follow-through on which the SSA may base its denial.
Failing to Cooperate
You are required to cooperate with the claims process. One way to ensure cooperation is by hiring a disability lawyer. Another is to fill out all forms completely and accurately. It is important to work with the agency, show up at appointments, provide the medical documentation when necessary and remain in contact with the SSA.
Why You Need a Disability Attorney on Your Side
A Social Security Disability lawyer will analyze the medical records relevant to the case. He or she will acquire the opinions of doctors and prepare the applicant for various questions. A disability attorney can also question the vocational expert during the hearing and pursue the claim aggressively.
At Gordon & Partners, our legal team is familiar with the application and disability appeals process and knows what legal arguments have been successful. We understand how difficult it is when a denial letter arrives. We will fight for the benefits you deserve.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation legal consultation. We will review all the information and determine if you have grounds for an appeal. Because we only work on a contingency fee basis, you will only be charged for our services if you recover compensation.