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Why won't anyone help me?

If you have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income and you have either been denied multiple times or have had to wait for months for a response from the Social Security Administration, you may be wondering, “Why won’t anyone help me get disability benefits?”

This is a valid question, but there can be many different answers depending on your health condition, whether you meet the nonmedical requirements of either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income and whether you have sought medical care for your condition and have committed to follow your prescribed treatment plan.

Do you meet the requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income?

First, a review of your disability case is in order. Do you meet the requirements? There are many requirements for both SSDI and SSI that have nothing to do with the severity of your condition.

The SSA will first consider if you are working and performing what they call substantial gainful activity. If you are working at this level, your claim will be denied, regardless of your health condition.

Next, the Social Security Administration will evaluate if your condition is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months, if not, it is considered a short-term disability, and the Social Security Administration does not pay for short-term conditions. SSDI and SSI are only offered for conditions which are expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.

Now, both SSDI and SSI have their own requirements. For SSDI, you must have worked, paid employment taxes and earned work credits. For SSI, you must have limited income and resources.

If you do not meet the conditions listed above then the Social Security Administration will never award you benefits until your situation changes and that could be why you cannot get help.

Are you seeing a doctor and following your doctor’s treatment plan?

What if you meet the requirements outlined above and you still cannot get the help you need? The Social Security Administration will determine your disability status by analyzing your medical records and determining first if you “meet a listing” as defined by the SSA Listing of Impairments or if you have enough residual capacity to work (determined through a medical vocational allowance).

If the SSA has continuously denied your claim it could be that you do not have enough medical evidence to support your claim because you have not seen a doctor.

It could also mean that you have seen a doctor in the past, maybe attended one mental health evaluation but you did not continue treatment and you did not follow the treatment plan. For instance, if you have depression but you do not see a therapist or psychiatrist and you do not take your medication, the Social Security Administration assumes that if you were do these things you very well might be able to work.

Why won’t a Disability lawyer help me?

A disability lawyer may not be willing to help you for all the same reasons listed above: you are working too much, your resources and income are too high for SSI, you do not have enough work credits for SSDI, you refuse to seek proper medical treatment, or  you have seen a doctor but you will not follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

A disability lawyer works on a contingency fee basis and only gets paid if they win your Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income case. If they do not think they can win, they will not take your case.
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