Social Security Disability is a fickle mistress. You see so many people get it so easily, while others struggle for years to acquire it. So how do you determine if you will be denied when you file your claim? Is there even a way to predict in advance if you will be denied? Actually, most any social security disability attorney will argue that there is. Here is how you can get an idea of your potential denial before you even begin your application process.
Any Incoming Income
Social Security looks at all of your financial records, including income taxes and the income of other persons in the household. If they determine that there is enough income to support you and everyone else in the house, you may be denied your benefits because it would exceed the federal poverty guidelines for benefit amounts allowed. You can appeal the decision with a lawyer's help as many times as you want, but often lessening household income is the only way to go.
Additionally, if you are self-employed or bringing in income from a very part-time job, you will also be denied. Since the strict definition of "disability" by the SSA (Social Security Administration) is that you are completely unable to work or adapt to other forms of work, even a few hours a week will get your application denied.
"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work..."
If you are a single person applying for disability, it may mean homelessness or moving in with family before you can get your benefits, since you are expected to remain jobless for months before the approval of your benefits. Most applicants who definitely cannot work because of their disability may suffer the same denials.
Length of Disability
If you were just diagnosed last week with a disabling condition, that is not a sure-fire guarantee of disability benefits. In fact, the only disabling conditions that earn automatic and immediate benefits are the following:
- Late-stage cancers
Even though the SSA lists dozens of other disabling conditions, they expect that your condition be a long-term one from which you will not recover. Ergo, they want to see document after document of your medical and work history showing how your condition has affected your ability to hold a job and work. Being diagnosed with lupus or fibromyalgia last week is not going to work. People with these and similar disorders have to wait years to apply and/or repeatedly appeal their cases. Even then, they need a lawyer's help to get their applications through.