An injury or illness can bring your life to a temporary halt while you recover. For many, a few days in bed or under medical supervision is enough to get them back on their feet. However, some illnesses or injuries can sideline you for a much longer time, indefinitely placing your plans on hold and your finances in jeopardy.
If you have a medical condition that will last longer than a year, or if doctors have told you that your illness would result in your death, you may be considering applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Before you begin the process, you will want as much information as possible to avoid making a mistake that can result in the denial of your claim.
Why would the SSA deny your claim?
The SSA receives many fraudulent applications for benefits. These false claims drain the system of valuable funds and resources that eligible applicants need. Because of this, the SSA is rigid in its screening process and harsh in its rate of rejection. In fact, only about a third of all first-time applicants receive benefits for their disabilities. Some of the most common factors that lead to the rejection of a claim include the following:
- Incorrect or incomplete application forms
- Inaccurate or incomplete contact information that prevents the SSA from contacting you
- Applications that do not provide enough evidence of treatment
- Failure to follow medical advice or complete your treatment plan
- Illness related to the abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Income that exceeds the limits for eligibility
- Injuries resulting from criminal actions or occurring while incarcerated for a felony conviction
If your injuries occurred while you were in the act of committing a felony crime for which a court convicted you, the SSA will deny your claim for benefits, especially if you are still serving your sentence. Additionally, if you have a medical condition or injury that becomes worse while incarcerated, you may have to wait until your release to apply successfully for disability benefits.
For many people, applying for benefits is stressful, particularly because the rate of denial is so high and the process is so long. If you are unwell, you may find it is an additional burden despite the fact that you need the benefits to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are resources available to you, including skilled Alabama attorneys who can assist you with every step of the application and appeals process.