In our August 19 blog post, we discussed several common reasons the Social Security Administration may be denying your application for disability benefits. In this post, we will continue to discuss some of these reasons:
You do not follow your doctor’s suggested medical advice or treatment plan
If you are hoping to receive Social Security disability benefits, you need to be extremely cooperative and follow any and all of your doctor’s medical advice. If the Social Security Administration learns that you are blatantly ignoring treatment options that could help you get better, they will not allow you to receive disability payments. There are a few legitimate medical excuses the SSA will accept if you are unable to follow through on medical treatment. These accepted excuses are:
- You have a mental illness so severe that it prohibits you from complying with prescribed therapy
- You have a fear of surgery so severe that it would be inappropriate to perform surgery
- You cannot physically follow your prescribed treatment without the help of others
Unaccepted excuses for failing to follow through on medical treatment are:
- You cannot afford the prescribed treatment
- Your religious beliefs prohibit you from pursuing the prescribed treatment
- Your doctor prescribes a treatment that another doctor disagrees with
As you can see, very few circumstances are severe enough in the eyes of the Social Security Administration to keep you from following your doctor’s advice. If your doctor’s treatment plan is not likely to result in your ability to return to work, however, you will not be required to follow that treatment plan. The medical therapy prescribed must restore your ability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA), or the treatment will be irrelevant.
You contributed to your disability with negative behaviors or addictions
There are many Americans currently living with serious disabilities, however, only those who played no part in obtaining their disability will be eligible to receive disability payments. Individuals whose drug addictions or alcoholism contributed to their disability will be disqualified from receiving benefits. If the SSA would still find you disabled if you stopped using drugs and alcohol, however, your claim may be considered.
You have participated or are participating in illegal activities
A criminal past (and present) can greatly affect your chances of being awarded disability benefits. The following situations will result in an automatic denial of your application for SSDI:
- You are in prison after having been convicted of a felony, unless you are currently in a court-approved rehabilitation program that is likely to result in your being given a job upon your release and your release will happen in a reasonable amount of time.
- Your injury occurred while you were committing a felony and you were convicted of the crime.
- You were injured while in prison.
Oftentimes, you can still receive benefits after being released from prison. It is possible to receive SSI payments during the above-mentioned situations, however, if you are still in jail, you will be unable to collect both SSDI and SSI.
If you received your disability payments through any fraudulent methods and you are later discovered, the SSA will immediately terminate your benefits and prosecute you.