If you are having a hard time getting a straight answer about your application for Social Security disability benefits; especially why it is being delayed (or even denied) you are certainly not alone. Long waiting times for application decisions are unfortunately par for the course with arguably the largest bureaucracy in the federal government.
You should also take into account that nearly two-thirds of all initial applications are denied. While this is a sobering (and troubling) number, you can take solace in knowing that there are several levels of appeals that you can take advantage of. But even before embarking on that journey, it is best to know why your application was rejected. This post will explore some potential reasons.
You did not fit the definition of “disabled” – Under federal law, you must prove that you meet the definition of “disability.” Essentially, you must show that you are (or are anticipated to be) disabled for at least 12 months. These can be physical injuries or mental conditions, but they must persist for at least 12 months.
A physician’s recommendations were not followed – If your condition persists because you have not followed your doctor’s recommendations, this could be a reason for your petition being denied. However, there may be legitimate reasons for not following them. These reasons should be explained so that you can have an adverse decision overturned.
Medical records may be missing – If your petition is incomplete, (i.e. there are no medical records to support your petition) it may be denied. However, this could be a simple fix by just including a record of follow ups or reasons why no follow ups were scheduled.