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How to Improve Entitlement to Benefits

Things You Can Do to Help Ensure Entitlement to SSDI Benefits

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In some cases, there will be valid grounds for denial of your application for SSDI benefits, beyond your control. For example, you earn too much income or your particularly disability will not last longer than a year or result in death. In other instances, though, you may be able to avoid doing something that results in a denial of your SSDI benefits.

Make Sure the SSA Can Find and Communicate with You.  The SSA and the Disability Determination Service (DDS)—the agency that determines your medical eligibility for benefits—must be able to communicate with you regarding your application. If these agencies cannot reach you to schedule examinations or communicate with you about critical matters, they may deny your application for benefits. If you name a representative (such as a disability law attorney) to handle your paperwork, you may not need to get in touch with the SSA, but be sure to stay in touch with your representative or attorney. If you move while your application is being considered, make sure the SSA knows how to contact you. Applicants for SSDI benefits get denied every day simply because the SSA cannot find them.

Cooperate with the SSA's Requests for Records, Information and Examinations. Your medical records are critical to the SSA's grant of your request for disability benefits. If you refuse to release records to the SSA, your claim could be denied. Similarly, the SSA may need additional information about your disability and limitations, either because your treating doctor's medical records are incomplete or because you have no treating doctor. In these instances, the SSA will request that you be examined by a SSA doctor in what is called a “consultative examination” (CE), paid for by the government. In some cases, the SSA will require you to undergo more than one CE. If you refuse to attend or request that the SSA make a determination based on the medical records already in your file, you may be denied disability because of inadequate medical information or failure to attend the CE. If you cannot make it to a scheduled CE because of the time or location, talk to your claim examiner so the DDS can schedule a CE at a time or place that is convenient for you. If you repeatedly fail to show up for a CE, your claim will most likely be denied.

Follow Prescribed Medical Therapy and Treatment. If you are being treated by a doctor, but fail to follow the doctor's prescribed therapy when you have the ability to do so, you can be denied disability benefits. However, the SSA recognizes certain legitimate excuses for failing to follow prescribed therapy.

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