Recently on our legal forum a user asked, I was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year and a half ago. I applied for SSDI benefits right when I heard the news. I was denied. I appealed the denial and was denied again. I just completed my disability hearing and found out I was denied a third time. I am wondering why I keep getting denied, and what I can do about my disability claim?
SSDI benefits and breast cancer
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are awarded to workers who have a serious health condition and who are not able to perform substantial gainful activity for at least 12 continuous months. Claimants must also have worked and paid employment taxes and earned sufficient work credits to be considered insured for SSDI benefits.
If you have been denied SSDI benefits there could be any number of reasons. The fact your case proceeded to the disability hearing level, however, eliminates several of those reasons. Lets take a look at some of the reasons the SSA denies benefits to claimant who have breast cancer.
Claimants lack sufficient credits to be insured for SSDI benefits.
Although this is not the reason you were denied, one of the most common reasons SSDI claimants are denied SSDI benefits for breast cancer is because they do have enough credits to be considered insured for SSDI. Whether its because they did not work enough, did not earn enough money, or they worked and were paid under the table, if a claimant is not insured, they will not get SSDI, regardless of the severity of their health condition.
Claimants condition is not expected to last 12 continuous months.
Another common reason claimants can be denied SSDI benefits for a disabling health condition is that the SSA has determined that their condition is not expected to last 12 continuous months. Some claimants may be able to provide evidence to the SSA that the SSAs assumption is incorrect; other claimants will have to accept that the SSA is right.
Claimants condition is not so severe that they cannot work.
Claimants may also be denied SSDI benefits for breast cancer because the SSA has determined that their condition is not so severe that they cannot work. Does this mean that the SSA does not think your case is serious? No, but they do believe that you will be able to get treatment and be strong and healthy enough to return to work within a few months.
What do I do now that my case has been denied at the hearing level?
Before deciding what your next step should be you need to determine if your case was denied because the SSA believes you can still work. Unfortunately, because you were denied at the hearing level- which is your best chance to win benefits- you have several choices.
First, you can appeal your case again to the Appeals Council. Secondly, you can file your claim again and start the process again. Or you can make a determination to return to work.
Recent blog:Coronary artery disease applied three times and denied