Why Would My Social Security Disability Application be Denied?

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If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you may be discouraged or confused to find that your application has been denied. When an initial application for SSI or SSDI has been denied, you have 60 days to request an appeal of your disability medical decision. In the event that you are denied it’s important to know why so that you can appeal the denial if possible.

  1. You earn too much income.

If you are earning enough money to be considered a “substantial gainful activity” (over $1,170 per month for SSDI and over $1,500 per month for SSI), you will not qualify for additional financial assistance from Social Security.

  1. Your condition is short-term or will not last.

If your medical condition will not last over a year, you will not qualify for disability assistance from Social Security. You can be denied Social Security assistance even if you are unable to perform some work functions if you can still perform other substantial gain activities.

  1. You are not following your prescribed treatment.

If you are being treated by a doctor and are not following your doctor’s prescribed therapies despite having the ability to do so, you can be denied SSI and SSDI benefits. Unless there is an extenuating circumstance or additional health issue that prevents you from following your doctor’s treatment plan, your claim can be denied. You will only be faulted if your treatment plan is expected to lead to recovery, not if it is not likely that you will be able to return to work.

  1. You are unreachable.

This problem can be easily fixed. The SSA needs to be able to contact you in order to give you SSI or SSDI. You can contact the SSA to update your contact information.

  1. Your disability is related to drug or alcohol abuse.

If drug or alcohol abuse is the primary factor in creating your disability, you will likely be denied social security benefits. You cannot receive disability benefits if an addiction prevents you from working or if your condition would improve by quitting drugs or alcohol.

  1. Not enough evidence.

In order to qualify for benefits, you must provide medical proof of your disability. You can work with your doctor and health care providers in order to gather and submit evidence of your disability.

  1. You committed a crime.

Incarcerated individuals cannot receive disability assistance but they can apply for assistance once they have been released from prison. However, if your condition occurred while you were committing a crime, you will not receive SSI or SSDI.  

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