Social Security Disability insurance is a federal insurance program overseen by the Social Security Administration. It provides monthly monetary benefits to individuals who have a physical or mental disability that prevents them from performing their job. For many of our clients at GG&F, these benefits help them during this difficult period of their life when they should focus on their health rather than on working.
The state-level agency that is responsible for determining if a claimant is eligible for Social Security Disability or other benefits from the state Medicaid program is the Disability Determination Services (DDS). After you have submitted your application to the SSA, the DDS is then responsible for reviewing the application and medical records submitted and determining if you qualify for benefits based on your condition and accompanying symptoms.
Unfortunately, the denial rate is very high: only about 22% of initial applicants are accepted, and close to 63% are denied. If your SSDI application was denied, do not give up hope. GG&F will work tirelessly to appeal your decision so that you receive the disability benefits you need to make ends meet. We have helped Californians just like you over our 60 years of practice, and are eager to patiently answer any questions you have.
Below are some of the common reasons why SSD claims are denied, but to understand why you were denied disability benefits, you should reference the denial letter that the SSA sends to you in the mail. That letter will explain why your specific claim was denied and what you should do if you want to appeal the decision. Contact us now to set up your free consultation at GG&F where we can review your letter and provide you with customized advice.
Many applications are denied due to insufficient medical documentation. Since you will need to prove that you cannot work for at least a year, you need to provide documentation of all laboratory results, symptoms, and treatments you have sought for your condition. We will compile your records for your appeal and ensure that your application is complete.
In order to be eligible for SSD insurance benefits, you must be incapable of substantial gainful employment. This means that you cannot earn more than a certain amount per month. If you earn more than the federally-approved amount, then the SSA will consider you to be engaging in substantial gainful activity and that you are able-bodied enough to work. The amounts are different for statutorily-blind individuals and non-blind individuals. For 2022, blind individuals may not earn more than $2260 per month, and for non-blind individuals, the limit is $1350.
If your condition is serious enough to render you unable to work for at least a year, then the SSA expects you to cooperate with your doctor and the treatment plan prescribed to you. If not, they will argue that your condition is not severe enough if you are not getting the medical care you claim to require.
If you’ve had an accident or sustained an injury while at work, there are steps you can take.
You have the right to dispute your denial. When you are represented by GG&F, we can help you get all that you are entitled to. You have 60 days from the date that you received your letter to request any type of appeal. There are four levels of administrative appeal for applicants who the DDS initially denies:
Reconsideration involves a complete review of your claim by another individual who did not participate in the first determination. They will look at all the evidence you had submitted initially, plus any new evidence.
When you request a hearing with an ALJ, you will be assigned one who was not part of your claim’s original determination or reconsideration. Your attorney from GG&F will prepare the evidence and testimony for your hearing and represent you in court.
When you request an Appeals Council review of either a decision or dismissal made by an ALJ, the Appeals Council will review your case and decide if they agree with the ALJ’s decision.
Finally, if you disagree with the Appeals Council‘s decision, or if the Appeals Council decides not to hear your case, then you have the right to file a civil suit in federal district court, which is the last level of the appeals process.
With GG&F representing you, you will never face your hearings alone. We explain the process to you and prepare the strongest testimony and evidence possible so that you get the outcome you deserve.
Based in Santa Monica, we serve California workers in Fresno, Santa Maria, Bakersfield, Visalia, and Oxnard whose Social Security Disability Insurance benefits have been denied. With 65 years of experience, we are here to help you and provide you with legal guidance during this time of need, just as we have for other Californians and their families. GG&F cares, which is why we continuously communicate with our clients regarding the status of their appeals. Call now to schedule your complimentary, confidential case review by an experienced, compassionate California SSDI attorney.