If you need to apply to receive disability benefits, it’s important to learn about the rules that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has set in place. Many people don’t realize there are several factors that can cause you to be denied, just as there a number of things that can work in your favor.
Sabotaging Your Disability Benefits
There are eight main reasons you might be denied disability benefits, even in circumstances where it’s your only option for income. By learning about these factors, you may be able to avoid the negative marks that can lead to a rejection of your benefits.
- You Make Too Much Money
The government places a restriction on how much you can earn each month and still qualify for disability benefits. This limit is called substantial gainful activity” (SGA) and, as of this year, the cutoff point is at $1,180 monthly. If you work and earn less than that, you can still qualify.
- Is Your Disability Severe?
In order to qualify, you must show the SSA that your condition is severe enough that it will last 12 months or more. Additionally, you may also qualify, when you can show that the disability will result in your death.
- Are You Unreachable?
The SSA will need to communicate with you regularly about your case. Alternatively, if you’re working with a disability attorney services Baton Rouge LA, make sure your attorney knows how to reach you. This is especially important if you move, while your case is still pending.
- You Fail Cooperate
Whether you refuse or you’re just absentminded, failing to get requested documents and information to the SSA is grounds for having your claim dismissed. In fact, providing as much information about your disability as possible can actually work in your favor. This means including all information from each doctor and hospital you’ve visited, so your caseworker can make an accurate assessment.
- Follow the Treatment Plan
In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must comply with the therapy recommended by your doctor. If a doctor reports you failed to comply without good cause, your claim can be denied. You may be exempt from participating in the therapy in cases where you have a mental illness that interfered with your compliance, the therapy required surgery and your doctor can show you have an intense fear of surgery, or your physical limitations prevented you from engaging in the therapy.
- Substance Abuse Caused Your Disability
If the SSA determines your disability is the result of alcoholism or drug addiction, you may be denied benefits. This is particularly true, when the SSA caseworker determines your disability would be resolved, if your substance abuse problem was no longer a factor.
- Criminal Activity Caused Your Disability
If you were injured during the commission of a crime or while in prison, you will not be approved for disability benefits. Even so, you should still apply for benefits, because it may help put a hold on your earnings record. This will be helpful in claiming disability or retirement benefits in the future.
If you’re approved for disability benefits through fraudulent acts or statements, your benefits will be revoked. Additionally, the SSA may prosecute you for committing fraud.
Seeking disability benefits is a complicated matter, requiring a great deal of paperwork and participation. This is why many people hire a disability attorney to work with them. A legal representative isn’t required, but such an advocate can help ensure you meet deadlines, comply with SSA regulations, and avoid sabotaging your own case.