Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a long and arduous process. It can be especially disheartening to find that your initial petition has been denied; particularly after you waited so long to receive an answer on your application.
Overall, about 66 percent of initial disability petitions are denied. Additionally, the reconsideration process does not normally fare well for applicants, as more petitions are rejected at this stage. This is likely why so many applications are requested to be heard by an administrative law judge. But even before getting in front of an ALJ, it is important to know why your petition had been previously denied.
Your petition does not have proper treatment records – This can be a common reason for denials for disability petitions based on mental illness. An applicant may have been prescribed antidepressants, but there may be no record of follow ups with a psychiatrist. Moreover, there may be legitimate, reasons for this that have nothing to do with a disability (or lack thereof).
You did not follow a physician’s orders – Your petition may be denied if it appears that you did not follow the recommendations of your doctor. However, as we alluded to earlier, there may be legitimate reasons for not following your doctor’s orders, including not being able to afford a prescription regimen and not receiving assistance to comply with specific directives.
You were not disabled for more than 12 months – To qualify for disability benefits, you must prove that you will be (or already have been) disabled for at least 12 months. For those suffering from mental ailments, this may be difficult to prove.