Even when disability seems obvious, benefits can be denied

Too many people make the mistake of thinking that applying for certain benefits requires little more than filling out a few forms. This can be especially true for someone who suffers from a condition he or she feels is obviously disabling. The idea of applying for benefits can feel like little more than a formality, or a box you just need to check off so you can start receiving the payments you will almost certainly receive.

Unfortunately, you might be in for a rude awakening if and when your application for disability benefits is actually denied. This appears to be the situation for a 90-year-old man who was recently denied disability benefits for his asbestosis.

Reports indicate that man’s claim was denied based on the findings that he was still capable of working. Despite his advanced age and his serious work-related illness, state officials determined that the man’s condition was not disabling enough to prevent him from doing any work. Therefore, his claim for benefits was denied.

The man fought back, arguing that the commission-approved doctor who examined him was not qualified to make a determination about his asbestosis and that the state commission failed to rely on other evidence the man presented with his application that supported a diagnosis of permanent total disability.

Unfortunately, the state Supreme Court stood by the initial ruling, denying the elderly man disability benefits.

This case should serve as a reminder to people across Knoxville that even the most seemingly clear-cut cases of disability can be denied benefits, so it is crucial to have as much preparation, support and resources as possible on your side. An attorney experienced in Social Security disability claims can provide each of these elements, whether you are filing an initial application for benefits or appealing an unfavorable ruling.

Source: Business Insurance, “Worker in his 90s with asbestosis denied total disability benefits,” Stephanie Goldberg, April 18, 2016