After your initial Social Security disability application and denial, and then your Request for Reconsideration and subsequent denial, it still remains a long and winding road before your actual Social Security disability application will appear before an Administrative Law Judge for your hearing. However, just because you reach that hearing level, it can still nevertheless be difficult to persuade your Administrative Law Judge to approve your application for benefits if one of the following four conditions applies to you.
1. Your age
Generally speaking, the older you are, the more likelihood exists that your disability benefits application will be approved. For instance, a 59-nine-old person who has worked his or her entire life and paid into Social Security can generally expect, on average, more favorable results than a 29-year-old younger person who has little to no work history. That 59-year-old is defined as being at “advanced age,” while the 29-year-old is defined as being a “younger individual.” Generally speaking, the younger you are, the more resilient you are, and the more opportunity you have to learn new jobs.
2. You have not worked enough OR you earn too much income.
As has been previously addressed, there are two types of Social Security disability benefits: Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB, or Title II) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI, or Title XVI). For DIB, you must have accumulated enough work credits over your working career to even be considered eligible (and this is completely separate and apart from whether you are disabled due to any medical conditions). If you have not worked enough, you will not qualify. Likewise, assuming you are approved, if you continue to work some after being awarded disability and that work constitutes Substantial Gainful Activity, you would not be entitled any longer to disability benefits. For SSI, benefits premised on assets (or lack thereof), you also cannot engage in work that constitutes Substantial Gainful Activity. You also must have little possessions and very-little money.
3. You indeed suffer from health conditions and medical problems, but those disabling issues will not last long enough, or be serious enough, for you to be disabled.
This can be a frustrating condition. You have been diagnosed with a health condition; you are seeing your doctor for it; and it keeps you from working. To qualify for disability, however, you must show that you have a condition that is expected to last 12 months or more OR result in your death (which we all hope does not happen). There must be objective medical proof of how long you have been diagnosed with your health problems and how long you have been getting treatment for them. If the Administrative Law Judge determines, based on rules developed by the Social Security Administration, that your condition has not or will not last that long, you will be denied.
4. You are not following your treatment providers’ orders.
Like number 3 above, this can be very aggravating. Unfortunately, many people who need disability are down-on-their-luck and lack the necessary insurance or assets to get medical treatment for their health conditions. This is a sad fact of life. However, no Administrative Law Judge will approve your disability application without proof of your treatment. You could be an incredibly-nice, incredibly-sick person, but there will be no choice but to deny you without proof that you are doing what your doctor tells you to do to help get better. For instance, inability to pay for medical treatment is not an excuse. Ignoring a doctor’s order to take certain medicine is not an excuse. Being too busy to go see your psychiatrist or counselor is not an excuse. While there are exceptions to these examples, for your health–not to mention your hopes of getting disability–it is always best to listen to your doctors. Contact Edwards & Kautz Law Firm, PLLC at 270-908-4914 to learn more.