06 Sep 5 Reasons Veterans Are Denied SSDI
Denial of Social Security Disability benefits is all too common, particularly at the initial level. Many causes of denial are difficult to correct, such as not meeting the work requirement or currently earning too much money. However, other causes are more technical and can be amended. We spoke with Alexander Sioutis, Attorney and founder of Victory Disability, about the most common reasons claimants are denied SSDI.
Veterans only claim service-connected disabilities
Social Security Disability is for veterans and civilians alike. As a result, the Social Security Administration will award disability for all medical conditions. Many veterans tend to claim just those that are service-connected, thus leaving out a condition that could be instrumental to their SSDI case. Sioutis stated, “It is important to include all of your health issues, whether they are service-connected or not.”
Not all medical records were included with the application
It is estimated that 75% of claimants are denied at the initial application level. This is often a result of technical error, one of which is missing medical records. Most veterans filing for Social Security Disability already have medical records with the VA. This can be beneficial because all necessary documents are in one place, however, complications may ensue when trying to obtain these documents. Communication between the SSA and the VA is poor. The VA does not always respond to request for records from the SSA. Likewise, the SSA may fail to provide the VA with an adequate amount of time to gather and send records. Because of this, it is important to follow up on records requests to ensure all medical documents are accounted for. Sioutis stated, “We always follow up on Social Security’s request because it is better to be safe than sorry.”
No opinion from the 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.” A doctor in support of a patient’s disability claim should complete a medical source statement.
The Work History report and Adult Function report were not thoroughly completed
About a month or two after filing a Social Security Disability application, the claimant will receive a Work History report and Adult Function report. It is crucial to be as detailed as possible when completing these forms. Sioutis stressed, “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.” The small details of your work history, even things you have only done on occasion, will contribute to the disability decision.
The 827 Form was never signed
The 827 Form is Social Security’s medical release form. For Social Security to have the authority to request a claimant’s records, this document must be signed and returned. Failure to do so will almost always result in denial.