22 Jun Five Reasons Why Veterans Are Being Denied SSDI Benefits
There are several reasons why a claimant may be denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Some reasons are basic, such as: not meeting the work requirement, currently earning too much money, the condition will not last a year, etc. Other reasons are more technical. We spoke with Alex Sioutis, Attorney and founder of Victory Disability, about often overlooked causes of denial.
- You did not include ALL your medical conditions on the application
This may sound simple; however, many claimants tend to focus on one specific health issue. It is critical that you include all medical conditions, both physical and mental. Furthermore, it is common for veterans to only include disabilities recognized by the VA. Sioutis stated, “It is important to include all of your health issues, whether they are service connected or not.”
2. You do not have an opinion from your treating doctor
According to Sioutis, “The way regulations are written, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must give ‘significant weight’ to the opinion of the treating doctor.” He continued, “In other words, the opinion of your personal physician goes much further than any doctor the SSA may send you to.” If your doctor supports the claim that you are medically qualified for disability benefits, it is best they complete a medical source statement form.
3. The application is missing medical records
Most veterans filing for Social Security Disability already have medical records with the VA. This is great, however, the communication between both organizations is poor. The VA does not always respond to request for records from the SSA. Likewise, the SSA does not always provide the VA with a sufficient amount of time to send records. Because of this, it is imperative that you follow up on all medical record requests made by Social Security. Sioutis said, “We always follow up on Social Security’s request because it is better to be safe than sorry.
4. You did not complete your Work History and Adult Function Report
Both the Work History report and the Adult Function report will be mailed to you within a month or two after filing an application. It is important to be as detailed and thorough as possible when completing these forms. Have you ever worked in a warehouse and lifted more than 75lbs, even occasionally? Write it down. The small details of your work history, even things you have only done on occasion, will contribute to the disability decision. Sioutis advised, “Your past jobs are extremely relevant in determining if you are disabled under SSA rules. This is particularly true if you are over 50 years of age. Take these forms seriously.”
5. You did not sign the 827 Form
The 827 Form is Social Security’s medical release form. If this is not signed, the SSA will not request your records. Failing to sign this document will almost always result in denial.
Alex Sioutis, Esquire, has over 10 years’ experience in working with Social Security Disability. In 2014, he founded Victory Disability, a Social Security Disability Firm primarily for veterans. He and his team have since helped over 7,500 veterans receive disability benefits. If you are interested in filing a claim with Victory Disability, or have questions regarding the disability process, call 866-350-7229. You can also find out if you are eligible by answering a few simple questions on our Vets Disability Guide evaluation.