It is a sad fact that many applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied. Denials may occur for many reasons, including improper, incomplete, or insufficiently documented applications. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may not consider your disability serious enough to warrant benefits or may not agree that your impairment will or has lasted long enough for you to qualify. You may be earning too much money as substantial gainful activity to be eligible. Other reasons for denial may include incomplete medical records or a lack of proof of your disability.
You may be required to undergo a physical exam by an SSA doctor for the SSA to gain additional information; if you refuse to undergo such an exam, this may be seen as non-cooperation on your part, which can lead to a dismissal of your claim. You may also be denied if you are given a prescribed treatment that is likely to restore your health but that you fail or refuse to follow. Furthermore, if your disability is based on an alcohol or drug addiction, then you could be denied, or if you are guilty of giving false information to the SSA, then you could be accused of fraud.
How to Appeal a Claim Denial
If your disability claim is denied based on medical reasons, then you have the right to appeal. The denial notice you will receive will provide an explanation of how you may appeal and the corresponding deadlines. Generally, in the state of New York, the first step in this process is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to present and argue your case directly before the judge. You will be asked questions about your disability and how it affects your ability to work, and the judge may also question vocational experts concerning this matter.
You will also need to supply new or additional evidence or other information relevant to your case. Should your benefits still be denied after such a hearing, your next step is with the appeals council. You must submit a request for a review of the decision or order by the administrative law judge to the council, which will review what has occurred thus far and make a determination. The last step in the appeals process, should it be necessary, is to file a case against the SSA in federal court.
Throughout the appeals process, it is highly recommended that you have an experienced attorney representing you. Such representation will ensure that your case is presented in the most effective and convincing manner with all necessary medical documentation. As a New York Social Security disability attorney with over two decades of experience in this field of law, I can offer the detailed knowledge and legal ability needed to help you achieve a favorable result in the appeals process.