If you suffer from a severe mental or physical condition, collecting disability benefits can be a top priority. You might complete an application for Social Security Disability and expect the Social Security Administration to give its approval, allowing you to collect the much-needed support.
However, you could be in for an unfortunate surprise if the SSA denies your claim. Below, we explore some of the common reasons the SSA denies applications for disability benefits.
Why might the SSA deny an application?
- There is not enough information in an application. The SSA receives an incredible number of applications. There is an enormous backlog of applications, and the SSA does not have the resources to review them as carefully as they probably should. Thus, any mistake, oversight or missing information can trigger a denial, no matter how minor it may be.
- Your condition is not disabling. A condition must fit the Social Security definition of “disability” in order to be eligible for benefits. If your application does not convince SSA that your impairment is severe and will last at least 12 months in a row, they will deny benefits.
- You have not contributed enough. Having a disabling condition is not enough to qualify for SSD. You must also have sufficient work history and contributions to Social Security. This chart shows the number of work credits you need and how much you must have worked in the years before your disability in order to qualify.
- You can still work. The SSA can deny benefits if they decide you can work, even if you cannot fulfil the job duties you performed before became disabled. SSA will look at whether you can tolerate various conditions, follow instructions and complete different types of tasks. Depending on your age, education and past work history, if you can perform “other work in the national economy”, your claim can be denied.
These and other reasons can lead the SSA to deny an initial claim for benefits.
What if the SSA denies your application?
It can indeed be frustrating to learn that the SSA denied your claim for disability benefits. However, it happens more often than you might realize. In fact, most initial applications are denied.
Do not lose hope. Do not file a new application. Proceed to the next step in the application process. The initial denial of your claim should be appealed with a Request for Reconsideration. Additional evidence can be submitted and your claim will be reviewed again to determine if you are entitled to a favorable outcome.