Tulsa Denied SSD Claims Attorneys
Denied Social Security Disability Claims in Oklahoma
Many people do not realize that most first-time Social Security Disability (SSD) claims are denied. In fact, approximately 67 percent of initial claims are denied. While requests for reconsideration are statistically denied at even higher rates—approximately 87 percent—this does not mean that you should give up hope if you have received notice that your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim was rejected.
There are many reasons that SSDI and SSI claims are denied, some legitimate and some not. In any case, it is always in your best interests to contact an attorney if your Social Security Disability claim has been denied. At Troutman & Troutman, P.C., we can review your case and determine why your claim may have been denied—and what you can do to continue pursuing benefits. Most SSD claimants who have their claims denied are entitled to file an appeal; our Tulsa denied SSD claims attorneys can help you navigate the appeals process and work to recover the SSDI or SSI benefits you are owed.
How Often Are Social Security Disability Claims Denied?
Every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies the majority of initial Social Security Disability claims. According to recent reports on official SSA data for fiscal year 2020, while the SSA’s acceptance rate for initial claims increased marginally in FY 2020, only 39 percent of first-time applicants were awarded benefits. This means that more than 60 percent of first-time SSD claimants were denied benefits.
Additionally, the SSA approved benefits for 14 percent of those who received decisions at reconsideration, and the rate of favorable decisions following appeal hearings increased to 49 percent, a jump of 4 percent from the previous year.
Overall, fewer people filed claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) during FY 2020. This is likely due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused widespread SSA office closures and limited access to SSD resources during the last half of the fiscal year.
Why Are Social Security Disability Claims Denied?
There are many reasons the Social Security Administration may deny your claim. When you receive your denial letter, it will contain an explanation of why your claim was denied. The letter may include a technical rationale, while will explain the various medical issues that led to the decision, as well as details regarding your “residual functional capacity.”
Some of the most common reasons SSD claims are denied include:
- Your Income Is Too High: Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have income requirements. To qualify for benefits, you must make below a certain income threshold. For SSI, you must also have limited resources and means. If you earn too much money to the point that your work constitutes “substantial gainful activity,” your claim will be denied.
- Your Disability Is Not Considered Severe: To be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits, your disability must meet specific severity requirements set forth by the SSA. If your injury, illness, or medical condition does not result in significant impairment meeting these requirements, the SSA will likely deny your claim.
- Your Disability Will Not Last for 12 Months or More: In most cases, the SSA only grants benefits to individuals with severe disabilities that are expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. If the SSA does not believe that your disability will last for at least a year or resolve in your death, it will almost certainly deny your claim.
- You Did Not Provide Enough Information: In order for the SSA to approve your Social Security Disability benefits, it must have appropriate access to your medical records. If you failed to provide the SSA with these records, or additional necessary information regarding your disability, your claim could be denied. The SSA may request that you see an SSA doctor for a “consultative examination,” or CE. If you fail to attend a CE as requested, your claim may also be denied.
- You Did Not Follow Your Doctor’s Recommendations: If you fail to follow your treating physician’s prescribed treatments and therapies, and you do not have a valid reason for doing so, the SSA could deny your claim for benefits. There are certain accepted medical and non-medical excuses for not following a doctor’s recommendations, such as having a severe mental illness, physical limitation, religious belief, or lack of monetary resources that prevents you from following your doctor’s prescribed treatments.
- Your Disability Was Caused by Alcohol or Drug Abuse/Addiction: If alcoholism, drug abuse/addiction, or a substance use disorder is a substantial contributing factor to your disability, the SSA will likely deny benefits. However, if the medical consultant finds that you would still be disabled if you stopped using drugs or consuming alcohol, you could be entitled to SSD benefits.
- The SSA Suspects You of Committing Fraud: If the SSA believes that you are fraudulently claiming benefits, or if it finds that you have sought or obtained SSD benefits through fraudulent means, it will deny your claim and/or immediately terminate your benefits. You may also face prosecution.
No matter the reason your claim was denied, Troutman & Troutman, P.C. can help. We encourage you to reach out to our firm today to discuss your legal rights and options with our denied Social Security Disability claims attorneys in Tulsa, OK.
Should You File a New SSD Claim or Appeal If Your Claim Is Denied?
If your Social Security Disability claim was denied, you should appeal this decision rather than file a brand-new claim if you wish to continue pursuing benefits. If you reapply, you will have to start the process all over, meaning you will need to resubmit all necessary paperwork, forms, medical records, and other evidence. This opens the door to application errors and other problems that could result in a second denial of your claim.
However, when you appeal a denied claim, you increase the chances that your benefits will be approved. Statistically, it is more likely that your claim will be approved during reconsideration or at the hearing stage than if you submit a new claim. Appealing also allows for your claim to be examined by a new reviewer and provides the opportunity for you to move up in the SSD claims process to have your case heard by an administrative law judge (ALJ). This can increase the likelihood of you receiving benefits in a shorter amount of time than if you begin the process all over.
That being said, it may be necessary to reapply rather than appeal in some cases. This includes when:
- You miss the deadline to appeal a denied claim
- Your disability or medical condition has changed
- Your request for reconsideration was denied
- The ALJ denied your claim at the hearing stage
In any case, you should consult an experienced attorney who can review your case and help you decide on the next steps. At Troutman & Troutman, P.C., we have decades of experience and are exclusively focused on Social Security Disability law. We can provide the information you need to make the best decision about your claim and your future.
Why Hire a Denied SSD Claims Attorney?
The Social Security Disability system is complex. Appealing a denied claim can be incredibly challenging, and there are many steps you must follow to avoid jeopardizing the outcome. Even when you do everything right, your request for reconsideration could be denied.
However, when you have an experienced attorney by your side, you increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. In fact, many studies have shown that people who work with Social Security Disability lawyers tend to receive much more favorable results than those who try to resolve their claims on their own. This is especially true when an SSDI or SSI claim has been denied.
At Troutman & Troutman, P.C., Social Security Disability law is all we do. Our singular focus on this practice area allows us to dedicate all of our time, resources, and efforts to helping you with your claim. We genuinely care about each and every one of our clients and are committed to helping you navigate the SSD filing and appeals process.
Committed to Keeping You Informed
We understand that this can be a stressful and confusing time which, is why we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to keep you informed and knowledgeable about your case. Not only do we have an array of video and FAQs, but we also allow you direct access to your dedicated attorney.
Dedicated & Trusted Counsel
Our attorneys are passionate about disability law. Everyone who works at our firm is here because they believe in helping people. We commit to representing clients through every part of the Social Security Disability claims process.
Over 25 Years of Dedicated Experience
Since 1993, our attorneys have been helping people throughout Oklahoma get the Social Security benefits they deserve. Regardless of where you are in your case, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys are here to help you obtain what you deserve.
Disability Law Is All We Do
Social Security Disability is a unique area of the law because it is about representing clients going through very difficult times. We help by getting people the benefits they have earned and deserve. Our firm is proud of the fact that disability law is all we do.