Many Michigan residents need Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, and, yet, all too often, their claims are denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Approximately two-thirds of initial disability benefits claims are denied by the SSA. It may be helpful for those Michigan residents who are considering applying for SSD benefits, or who have applied and received a denial, to understand why there are so many initial denials.

Commonly, applications are denied due to what may be considered matters of paperwork, not because an applicant is not disabled. If the SSA is unable to contact an applicant to schedule exams or to ask follow-up questions, the agency may deny an application.

A claim that is not supported by appropriate treatment records may also be denied. An applicant who has failed to release medical records may find that the SSA has denied his or her claim. A Michigan resident who does not meet imposed medical requirements by attending required examinations may also find that the SSA will deny his or her application. For example, if a person has not obtained an appropriate therapy due to a doctor’s failure to prescribe the therapy, the SSA many deny an application for benefits. A disability that has lasted less than one year, and is not expected to last a full year, may also lead to a denial of benefits.

A person whose claim for SSD benefits has been denied may find legal counsel helpful. An attorney may be able to help resolve some of the issues that led to the initial denial, such as by obtaining appropriate medical documentation, reminding an applicant to attend the required examinations and otherwise guiding a disabled Michigan resident through the application and appeals process. Michigan residents may also be interested to know that following an initial denial many applicants are able to obtain benefits through the appeals process.

Source: FindLaw, “Why a Disability Claim Gets Denied,” accessed Feb. 26, 2016