A medical condition or disabling injury can turn your life upside-down. You may regret the times you complained about mowing the lawn or cleaning the house now that those routine chores are beyond your abilities. Perhaps most troubling is that you are no longer able to work, which means you have no source of income with which to pay for your housing, food, clothing and other necessities. This does not even count the medical expenses you may be facing because of your illness or injury.
The inability to work because of a medical condition may qualify you for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. If you have been paying into the Social Security system through employment long enough and your condition will prevent you from working for at least one year, you have met two of the basic requirements for eligibility. However, some factors may disqualify you.
The SSA keeps a list of medical conditions that qualify for benefits, such as certain heart conditions, vision or hearing impairments, cancer, and others. Even if your condition is not specifically listed in this database, your symptoms may still qualify you to receive the financial support you need. However, any of the following may result in a denial of your application:
- You can earn money despite your condition.
- You refuse to follow your doctor’s medical advice.
- You did not follow the instructions the SSA provided for your application.
- You did not submit enough medical or anecdotal evidence to support your claim of having a disabling condition.
- Your condition is related to continued substance abuse, or the SSA determines that your condition would improve if you were not drinking alcohol or using drugs.
- Your condition is related to your criminal activity, such as suffering an injury while in prison or during the commission of a felony of which a court then convicted you.
- You did not notify the SSA that you moved or that your contact information changed, and they were unable to reach you.
You may feel you are well qualified and deserving of disability benefits, but you get rejected nonetheless. This is very common. In fact, about two-thirds of all applicants receive denials the first time they apply. On the other hand, those who use the services of a skilled Oklahoma attorney may have a better chance of reaching their goals the first time through or upon a request for review after a denial.