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Why Does Social Security Disability Get Denied in California?
Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits are awarded only to those who can prove that A) they have a severe mental or physical impairment--or combination of impairments--that prevents them from working and earning a substantial gainful income, and B) this impairment has lasted, or is expected to last, a period of not less than twelve months.
Claimants must prove these above two points by supplying medical records from qualified medical sources (alternative medicine practitioners such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, and homeopaths will not do) in support of the claim for disability.
Unfortunately many claimants apply for disability in California on the basis of a condition for which they have received scant treatment or have never sought medical treatment, and thus have no medical records, or insufficient records, documenting either their condition, its functional limitations, their date of onset or a prognosis. Without this information a disability examiner really has nothing of substance upon which to base his or her decision.
Without pertinent medical records supplying this information, a disability examiner will likely have no alternative other than to deny a claim. A lack of evidence or a lack of current evidence may result in a claimant being sent to a CE, or consultative examination. However, these seldom result in a social security disability award when there's not much of a longitudinal medical treatment history to back up the information provided by this type of "snapshot".
In a practical sense, people who apply for SSD and SSI should try to seek medical treatment as soon as their symptoms begin to compromise their ability to do their job. It's also not a bad idea for claimants to review their medical records to be sure that they contain at least some level of detail to give a disability examiner a clear picture of their residual functional capacity (activities that they can and cannot perform as a result of their impairment).
Oftentimes physicians, who typically have very little insight into what is needed to prove a disability claim, leave a lot out in their notes.
They may document their diagnosis, but not the functional limitations and the daily activity restrictions that result from a condition. If a condition is preventing a patient from standing for long periods of time, lifting, concentrating, etc., this--for the sake of substantiating a disability claim--needs to be reflected in the medical records.
Patients who are considering filing for SSD or SSI may find it prudent to be up front with their treating physician, and inform him or her of the need to provide solid documentation for a disability case. True, some physicians do not wish to be bothered with disability matters, and some even dislike the idea of collecting disability benefits because they are opposed to it on principal (the old “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality, a.k.a., no government handouts). However, it’s best to know this before filing for disability, while there is still ample time to develop a treatment history with another physician who may be more helpful and, yes, compassionate.
One final note: If you are planning to file for disability, be scrupulous when it comes to showing up for your doctor appointments and following physician orders. Many physicians will drop a patient who fails to show up for appointments, and actually welcome the chance to get rid of “problem” cases. In addition, patients who are not taking medication as prescribed may allow social security to conclude that the patient is not severely impaired, or that their limitations might be lessened (and their ability to engage in work activity improved) if they were taking their medications.
SSD and SSI cases are denied due to a lack of supportive medical evidence. And, therefore, in a practical and strategic sense, claimants who wish to collect Social Security disability benefits must be willing to do what it takes to supply the documentation necessary for approval.
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI
Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
The SSI Disability Benefits Program
Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs
Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews
Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children
Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative
What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney
Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability
Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
Disability Benefits through Social Security
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
Filing your claim for disability benefits
Eligibility for receiving disability benefits
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
The SSDRC Disability Blog
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Disability in North Carolina
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Getting disability in North Carolina
Filing for disability in California
How do I Apply for Disability Benefits in California
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SSD and SSI applications in California
What do you do if your California disability claim is denied?
Do you file for your children when you apply for disability in California?
Should you apply for disability in California after a denial?
How long does a disability case take in California
After you file for disability in California
Filing for disability in California and your condition
Filing a disability claim in California, long filing process
The California disability process
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The Social Security Disability process in California
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Disability approval criteria in California
California Social Security Disability decisions
Steps to Win Social Security Disability benefits in California
Questions about disability in California
How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
California Social Security Back Pay
Can Disability benefits be garnished in California?
Disability two year medicare waiting period in California
California review of Social Security Disability claim
California Social Security Disability status
VA disability and California Social Security Disability
Can a Congressman in California help on a disability case
How do examiners make disability decisions in California?
Applying for disability benefits in California
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How long does it take to get a decision on a disability case in California?
Why do disability claims take so long in California?
How Long Will It Take To Get My Disability Decision If I Appeal in California?
Disability claims in California with certain conditions
Applying For Disability On the Basis of Back Pain in California
Filing for Disability with Fibromyalgia in California
Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California
Winning California disability
Will a lawyer improve the chance to win disability in California?
Getting approved for disability in California
Winning disability in California
California Disability Lawyers and Representation
Getting a disability attorney in California
Finding a new disability attorney in California
Applying for SSI in California
Filing for SSI disability in California
SSI disability denied in California
Are SSI claims in California denied more than SSDI claims?
How to apply for SSI Disability in California
Doctors, medical records, and medical exams
Doctors and applying for disability in California
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Disability hearings in California
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California quick disability hearing
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Disability denials in California
Disability Denied in California
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Appealing a Social Security Disability denial in California
If you get denied Social Security Disability in California
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If your disability reconsideration is denied in California
Filing a reconsideration appeal in California
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Qualifying for disability in California
Qualifying for disability in California
Qualify for SSD in California
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Disability lawyers in California
Using a Social Security Disability Attorney in California
Cost of a California disability attorney
Why do disability lawyers in California sometimes not take cases?
Hiring a Disability Lawyer in California
Social Security Disability Attorney Fees In California
How do Disability Lawyers in California get paid their fees?
Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?
Lawyer for a disability hearing in California
Why was I denied disability in California?