Everyone who applies for Social Security Disability benefits will have their own unique story. Every applicant has a different work and medical history. Unfortunately, many of these stories are tales of frustration, long waits, and denials. Obtaining an approval for disability benefits in Arkansas is far from guaranteed.
The application process for Social Security Disability benefits usually has three phases: the initial claim, a request for reconsideration, and a hearing. In 2020, initial applications were approved 35.5% of the time. This means that nearly 65% of all initial claims were denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The numbers were even worse for those who requested reconsideration of their application – only 10.1% of reconsidered cases were approved. However, 43.9% of claims were approved after a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).
These numbers are intimidating and frightening. When you need financial assistance, you do not want to hear that your claim has a 65% chance of being denied. Two ways to improve those odds are to have the help of our experience Fayetteville disability attorneys and to understand why claims are denied. If you are applying for disability or are appealing a denial, call our law offices at (479) 316-0438 to discuss how to improve your chances.
Why Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied in Arkansas
According to the numbers, your Social Security Disability benefits claim is more likely to be denied than approved. In fact, almost 65% of all initial claims filed in Arkansas are denied. The initial appellate process is not encouraging either, with nearly 90% of requests for reconsideration being denied. While engaging the services of our knowledgeable Arkansas disability lawyers will maximize your odds of success, it is crucial to understand why claims are denied. Because every case is unique, it is impossible to cover every reason why a disability application fails. However, below we address five of the most common reasons claims are denied.
Lack of Medical Evidence
One of the reasons many disability claims are denied is because the claimant failed to provide sufficient medical evidence. The burden of proof that your condition prohibits you from working falls squarely on you. To meet this burden, you must have medical documentation that establishes that your impairment interferes with your ability to perform the duties associated with your job.
Many applicants make the wrong assumption that the SSA will gather their medical records. This is especially the case if the SSA requests a medical examination. Typically, this examination is not enough to prove your disability. Our Bella Vista disability lawyers will work closely with you, your treating physician, and any other medical professionals that you have seen to collect the necessary evidence and statements.
Failure to Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Your medical history, even if compelling and convincing, might not be enough if you fail to follow the treatment prescribed by your doctor. The SSA is looking to determine if your condition prevents you from working and will likely continue to do so in the future. If you are not taking steps to treat your condition or are ignoring your doctor’s orders, your claim will be denied.
Failure to Cooperate
One reason to hire our Benton County Social Security Disability lawyers is so you do not have to worry about procedural deadlines or other parts of the application process. Many applications are denied because the claimant simply failed to follow instructions or missed an important deadline. While having competent legal representation will minimize these issues, you still must cooperate with the SSA. If documents are requested, you must provide them to our office promptly so they can be forwarded to Social Security. Furthermore, if an appointment or medical examination has been scheduled, you must attend.
Your Income or Resources
If you request Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your income and resources are also factored into the SSA’s determination. If you earn more than $940 per month when applying for SSI, your claim will be denied. Additionally, if your assets and resources exceed $2,000, you will likely receive a denial. Our Farmington disability attorneys will review what types of income and resources are included in the SSA’s calculation.
While Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are based on your work history and not your resources, if you are capable of earning $1,310 a month, your claim will be denied.
If you file a Social Security Disability claim, you are more likely to receive a denial than an approval. When some people receive notification that their claim was denied, they mistakenly believe they should file a new claim. There is an appellate process in place to address denials. If you file a new claim, it will likely be denied as soon as the assigned case examiner sees that your previous application was also denied.
Appealing a Social Security Disability Benefits Denial in Arkansas
Being approved for disability benefits is difficult, but it is not impossible. You have a better possibility of being approved at a hearing before an ALJ than you do during the initial process. Therefore, it is crucial to think of the appeals process as part of the application process. If your application is denied, the first step is to request reconsideration. During this phase, a case examiner who was not involved with your case will review your application. You are permitted to provide additional medical evidence.
If your claim is denied after reconsideration, your next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. During the hearing, you could present additional evidence, have medical experts testify, and respond to direct questions by the ALJ. At this point in the process, it is almost necessary to have legal representation.
Our Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyers Provide Free Case Evaluations
The Social Security Administration makes the disability benefits process difficult to ensure only qualified individuals receive benefits. Unfortunately, the hurdles presented also deny deserving individuals from receiving the benefits they need. Our dedicated Harris disability lawyers fight for the rights of our clients and will fight for you. Call (479) 316-0438 to arrange a free appointment.
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