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Brooklyn Social Security Disability Lawyers

Common Reasons for Social Security Disability Claim Denials and How To Avoid Them Many pitfalls could prevent you from qualifying for New York’s Social Security disability benefits. According to Social Security data, approximately two-thirds of all disability claims encounter denial. This situation can be devastating if you’re struggling with a serious health condition and low to no income. Why is it so hard to qualify for disability? While many people are ineligible for benefits, some applications fall through because of avoidable mistakes. Consulting an SSD lawyer in New York can significantly boost your chances of approval. Let’s examine a few common reasons the SSA denies applications for benefits. Reason 1: You Earn Too Much Money When the SSA considers your application, they’ll look into your earnings to ensure you make less than what a substantial gainful activity (SGA) should net. Earning above this amount will automatically disqualify you from benefits. Per USAFacts, 5.5% of adults in New York currently collect some type of disability benefits. To count among that number in 2024, you must earn less than $1,550 per month, or less than $2,590 if you’re blind. If your income is borderline, consider talking to an SSD lawyer. Reason 2: You’re Dealing With a Minor or Short-Term Disability Millions of working Americans deal with injuries or illnesses. However, not all these conditions are significant or lasting enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. When you apply for SSDI, your medical records should show that your condition is terminal or severe enough to go on for at least a year. Blindness is one notable exception to this rule. You could suffer from serious injuries, like a fracture or TBI, after a car accident, and the SSA could still deny your claim if your recovery is likely to take under a year. Likewise, the SSA may deny your application if you can’t prove that your condition impairs your daily life enough to keep you from working full-time. Of course, with some health conditions, it’s hard to tell how long recovery may take. An experienced SSD lawyer in New York can help you show that your condition is serious enough to qualify for benefits. Reason 3: You Fail To Cooperate With the SSA When applying for benefits, you must be ready to comply with reasonable requests. These may include providing medical records that support your claim and attending a scheduled consultative examination (CE) to complete the picture of your medical condition. Failing to provide records in time or missing a consultative examination will almost always end in a denied claim. If you can’t attend a planned examination, you should reschedule it. Similarly, you must be available for the SSA and Disability Determination Services (DDS) to contact you about your claim. If DDS or SSA representatives can’t reach you to communicate important issues related to your application, claim denial is almost inevitable. An attorney can handle any communication related to your claim and save you a lot of hassle, but you must still keep in touch with your lawyer. Ensure the SSA knows your address if you move while your application is under review. Reason 4: You’re Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders When applying for benefits, you must show that you’re following your prescribed treatment plan (e.g., taking prescription meds and attending therapy appointments). If you aren’t complying with your doctor’s recommendations, the SSA may reason that you’re responsible for the fact your condition isn’t improving. Following your treatment plan is especially significant if your doctor believes the prescribed therapy could restore your ability to work. However, you may also have some valid reasons for not following treatment recommendations, like mental health issues, distance and lack of mobility, conflicting diagnoses, or lack of funds for treatment. Include these reasons in your application. Reason 5: You’re Disabled From Substance Abuse If alcohol or drug abuse is the sole reason for your disability, Social Security will deny your application. However, some people who struggle with substance abuse may also qualify for benefits based on an underlying condition that has nothing to do with their addiction. In this situation, you’d need to show that your claim is unrelated to substance abuse, meaning that your disability would continue even if you successfully curbed your addiction. A recorded period of rehabilitation from substance abuse, with medical evidence of persisting disability symptoms, can strengthen your claim. Reason 6: Social Security Suspects You of Fraud Social Security will deny your application if they suspect you of fraud, like falsifying records or purposefully withholding information that is material to your claim. The SSA may also terminate the benefit payouts you’re already collecting. You could even face criminal charges. Any suspicions of fraud will usually lead to a cooperative disability investigation, during which an investigator will collect information on you and report their findings. If you believe the SSA has falsely accused you of fraud, consult an SSD lawyer in New York immediately. Our legal team can help you present the right documentation and prove that you’re on the right side of the law. How To Boost Your Claim’s Chances of Approval While it’s impossible to predict the outcome of your disability claim, the SSA is likelier to approve you for benefits if you: Check eligibility guidelines to ensure you meet income requirements and other criteria. Provide full, up-to-date medical records that document your symptoms and show that your disability limits your ability to work. Supply any additional records, attend a consultative examination as necessary, and ensure you’re reachable for communication. Follow treatment recommendations or provide a compelling reason you can’t follow the prescribed treatment. Work with an experienced SSDI attorney and stay in touch with your lawyer. Preparing To Claim SSDI? Contact Our New York Social Security Disability Claims Lawyers Figuring out SSD qualifications can be challenging if you don’t know how Social Security applications work. At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, we help you navigate the Social Security system to maximize your chances of qualifying for benefits. Whether you’re applying for benefits for the first time or already encountered a denial, our New York Social Security lawyers will handle your application quickly and efficiently. Call (718) 626-7730 or contact us online for a free consultation with an SSD lawyer in New York. FAQ What should I do if Social Security denies my application? If Social Security rejects your claim, you can request a reconsideration. If you still encounter denial, you may file an appeal involving a hearing before an administrative judge. A competent Social Security Disability attorney in NYC can help you prepare for the hearing. Can I earn income in addition to Social Security benefits? Yes, you can. According to SSA data, about one out of eight beneficiaries has another source of income besides Social Security benefits. Apart from allowed monthly earnings, you could have passive income from investments, rental property, and other sources and still qualify for benefits. However, please consult an SSDI lawyer in New York to ensure you meet Social Security’s income criteria. Can I handle my SSD claim myself? Yes, but it is strongly recommend that you work with a disability benefits lawyer in NYC. Your odds of approval will be much better if you work with an SSD attorney in New York City. How much do Social Security disability lawyers in New York charge? A reputable Social Security lawyer in NY usually won’t request an upfront fee. If the SSA approves your claim, an SSD lawyer in New York can charge up to 25% of your disability backpay or $7,200, whichever is lower.

Social Security Disability can serve as an invaluable lifeline when you’re too ill or injured to work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays these benefits to people with long-term disabilities that are expected to last for a year or more.

However, applying for Social Security disability can be incredibly confusing, and many people give up after the SSA denies their claim. If your claim has been denied, or if you need help applying for benefits learn how our Brooklyn Social Security disability lawyers can help.

Why Hire a Social Security Disability Law Firm?

If you’re dealing with a serious disability, finding an SSA rejection letter in the mail can be disheartening. You may be unaware it’s possible to appeal the SSA’s decision. Even if you do know this, figuring out how to make a successful appeal can be overwhelming.

Navigating the appeals process sometimes feels like walking through a minefield. You could make the journey yourself, but wouldn’t you rather have an experienced guide to walk you through so you don’t step in the wrong place?

That’s exactly what our Social Security disability law firm can do for you. We can:

  • Look over your case to determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria
  • Develop a compelling narrative about why you qualify for benefits
  • Review your denial letter if the SSA has denied your claim
  • Help you fill in any gaps on your application if the SSA denied you for lack of information
  • Help you retrieve medical records and statements from your doctors
  • Represent you in a hearing before an administrative law judge

In short, if you seek help from a disability law firm such as Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, you stand a better chance of having your Social Security disability claim accepted.

What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?


You may have heard about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but you’re unsure which to apply for. Both are benefits programs that provide income to people with disabilities, but they’re not quite the same thing, so understanding the difference is crucial.

SSI pays benefits to people who are 65 or older, disabled, or blind. If you intend to apply for SSI, you must expect your disability to last for a year or more or result in death.

You must also have a very low income and extremely limited resources to qualify. The value of everything you own, including cash, investments, and property (with the exception of your home) can’t exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

SSI has no work history requirement, but the benefits amount can be quite low. Individuals may earn a maximum of $914 per month, and couples may earn up to $1,372 monthly. The SSA adjusts these amounts annually.

SSDI provides benefits to people who can’t work due to a disability that will last for a year or more. This means if you have a short-term disability, you generally will not qualify.

You must have a disability that prevents you from doing your current job or any other type of job. For example, if you can no longer work in a factory but are able to transition to a work-from-home job, you probably won’t qualify for SSDI.

Unlike SSI, your income and resources don’t affect how much you earn from SSDI. Therefore, you can have a high income and a healthy retirement account and still qualify for benefits.

Neither does the SSA cap SSDI benefits as it does with SSI. How much you can earn is based on your average monthly pay. That means people with higher incomes can earn more than those with lower incomes.

One drawback of SSDI is that you must have a substantial work history to qualify. Exactly how much work history you need depends on your age. If you’re under 24, for instance, you’d only need about one-and-a-half years’ worth of experience in the three years before your disability. If you’re older than 31, you must have worked at least five out of the past 10 years.

Reasons the SSA May Deny Your Claim

When you’re disabled and can’t work, finding an SSA denial in the mail can feel like being kicked when you’re already down. The SSA denies claims for many reasons, and depending on the cause of your denial, it might be possible to file an appeal.

You Haven’t Worked Long Enough

If applying for SSDI, you must meet the SSA’s work history requirements. The SSA converts income to credits, and you can earn up to four credits annually.

To qualify for SSDI, you’ll typically need at least 40 credits, 20 of which you’ve earned within the past 10 years (ending with the year your disability began). However, as discussed above, younger people may qualify with fewer credits.

You Have a Job But Claimed Your Disability Prevents You From Working

To be eligible for benefits, you must have a disability that keeps you from working any job. If the SSA finds out you’re still working, it will deny your claim.

You Have Too Much Income or Resources

The SSA frequently denies SSI claims for having too many resources or an income that’s too high. Because of this, some people “spend down” their resources to ensure they qualify. Some ways to do this include:

  • Buying a home or paying off a mortgage
  • Paying off credit card or college debt
  • Buying household goods and personal care products, which are exempt
  • Pre-paying for burial and funeral expenses
  • Spending the money on travel or entertainment
  • Paying to repair a home or install home modifications, such as widened doorways, lowered kitchen counters, wheelchair ramps, stairlifts, elevators, and modified bathtubs/showers

Note that there is a three-year look-back period during which the SSA can review your transactions. If the SSA finds you sold an asset for less than its fair value, it will deny your claim.

You Don’t Have a Qualifying Condition

The SSA has a list of conditions that qualify for benefits. If you don’t meet the criteria for any, expect a denial. However, Brooklyn Social Security disability lawyers may be able to make the case that your condition is comparable to a similar disability on the list.

You Lack Medical Evidence

Failing to supply enough medical evidence is a common reason for denials. Fortunately, this type of denial is rather easy to appeal. Simply collect all relevant medical treatment records, as well as statements from your doctors, and submit them to the SSA.

You’re Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders

Following your doctor’s orders to the letter can be a pain, but failing to do so could be detrimental to your SSD claim. If the SSA learns you’re ignoring your doctor’s suggested treatments, medications and therapies, it could deny your claim or stop your benefits.

You Missed a Deadline

If the SSA denies your claim, you don’t have an infinite amount of time to make an appeal. The SSA gives you just 60 days to do so, which doesn’t seem long enough if you need time to put together a strong case for your appeal.

This is where an experienced SSD attorney can be so helpful. They can build a strong case and help you file your appeal before time is up.

Contact Our Brooklyn, NY, Social Security Disability Lawyers

Have more questions about SSI or SSDI? Are you wondering, “Does a lump sum settlement affect Social Security disability?” If so, call Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani at (718) 626-7730 for a free consultation with our Brooklyn Social Security disability lawyers.

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