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The steps to take if you’ve been refused benefits

It is extremely common for a Social Security application to be denied for the first time -- this occurs in over 50 percent of cases. However, if you seek to appeal the decision, you are reasonably likely to be successful. You must make sure that you are well-prepared, however, to make a good case, and know what the acceptance criteria is.

This blog will provide a brief overview into the reasons that you might have been refused Social Security benefits in the first place, and an introduction into where you should go from here.

Common reasons why applications are unsuccessful

There are many reasons why an application for Social security benefits might be unsuccessful, but it is important when you are denied to be able to pinpoint the cause. This might be an administrative error that needs to be corrected. Common reasons for unsuccessful applications are:

  • The applicant earns more than $940 per month. Only applicants that earn less money than this will be successful.
  • The applicant will be disabled for less than one year.
  • The applicant did not follow your doctor's instructions for treatment. If this is the case, there are exceptions that apply in the cases of the treatment being against their religious beliefs, not being able to afford the treatment or the treatment being ineffective.
  • The applicant did not provide medical records or other information.

Making an appeal

You must make an appeal filing within 60 days of the unsuccessful application, if you believe a mistake has been made. Therefore it's important to start preparing as soon as you received your denied application.

Source: Findlaw, "If You've Been Denied Social Security Benefits," accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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