Applying for government disability benefits can be a time consuming process so it is important to understand what information the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires and what reasons your application may be denied.
SSA Determines that You Do Not Meet the Qualifications.
In general, the SSA requires applicants to prove that you have worked five of the last ten years, are under the age of 65, and have a disability that is going to prevent you from substantial gainful activity for at least one year. For most applicants, work income is considered substantially gainful when they earn more than $1,070 each month. It is important to note that the substantial gainful activity limits are adjusted annually and this figure does not include proceeds from investments.
Another Social Security qualification is that the disability last more than one year. Many people find this requirement difficult to prove especially if their condition or injury has only recently occurred. If the SSA has denied your application based on this criterion, then a Fall River attorney may be able to help you appeal this decision.
SSA Cannot Communicate with You.
When filling out applications you need to ensure that the contact information is correct. In addition, if your address changes, you should talk to the staff at the local Social Security office about updating your contact information. Fall River residents should contact the office located at 400 North Main Street across the street from the Superior Court.
Another option is to name an attorney as your representative and correspond with the SSA through him or her. This can be an advantageous arrangement because your attorney will receive notices directly from the Administration. In any case, it is essential that you keep the lines of communicate open with the SSA.
You Do Not Cooperate with the SSA.
If you are applying for disability benefits, you should provide the SSA with the medical records it needs to substantiate your claim. In some cases, the Administration will ask that you undergo a consultative examination, which is a medical exam which provides the Administration with more complete information. The government covers the cost of these consultative examinations and, if necessary, may even request that you undergo multiple exams. Applicants should take these requests seriously because the failure to undergo such an exam may result in the denial of benefits.
Another ground for denial is the failure to follow a course of treatment. In general, an applicant must follow the course of treatment prescribed by his or her doctor and only very limited exceptions justify a deviation. If you have any questions about consultative examinations or following a prescribed therapy, then you should talk experienced attorney.
Other Actions that Can Result in a Denial.
Applicants have also been denied benefits because the SSA found that the claimed disability was caused by alcoholism or drug addiction. In this type of case, the Administration looks at whether the individual would be disabled if he or she stopped using drugs or alcohol. If the answer to this question is “yes,” then the applicant may still be eligible. In addition, people who suffered injuries while committing a felony or serving a prison sentence may not be able to obtain benefits for these injuries. However, people who have suffered an injury after being release from prison may still be entitled to benefits.
If you have questions regarding the denial of benefits by the SSA, then you should talk to the Social Security lawyers at our Fall River office. Our experienced legal staff can help you take the next step in obtaining the benefits you deserve and help you avoid common mistakes. You can rest assured knowing that we will be with you through each step of the appeals process. Additionally, we do not charge any fees unless we are successful in getting you the benefits you are entitled to receive. Feel free to call us at 1-800-992-6878 or submit a contact form.d’Oliveira & Associates
Fall River, MA 02720
Phone: (508) 677-0500