Has Your Social Security Disability Case Been Denied?
The federal government provides two primary programs which provide financial assistance to individuals who face disability or long-term illness. Each program carries its own requirements, but both are administered by the Social Security Administration. In order to qualify for either program, individuals must be disabled and meet certain medical criteria. In addition, each program carries its own financial qualifications.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to individuals and, in certain cases, their family members. In addition to providing medical evidence which supports the disability, individuals must be “insured” by the program – meaning they have worked a certain length of time and have paid Social Security taxes.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) distributes benefits based on financial need. While individuals must prove their disability in order to qualify for this program, approval is also based on documentation of income and certain assets.
If your case is denied, it is usually due to one of two reasons:
- Medical evidence was not sufficient to convince the Administration of the severity or duration of the disability
- Non-medical reasons for a denial of benefits may include (but are not limited to) income, assets, amount of Social Security taxes paid, and other forms of insufficient documentation.
When a claim is denied for non-medical reasons, the applicant has the right to request a review of the case. If the applicant’s situation has changed, or if he can provide additional documentation, the case may be approved upon review.
If a claim is denied for medical reasons, however, the applicant must file an appeal in order to win an approval. Additional medical evidence may be needed in order to prove the case. This process can be lengthy – up to 48 months – and frustrating for the applicant. Seeking professional guidance from a disability attorney can help to streamline, and sometimes shorten, the appeals process.