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Common Reasons For Social Security Disability Denials

Cutter Hall Karlock, LLC Feb. 15, 2021

People who have disabilities that prevent them from working and making an income may be able to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. These benefits help cover a certain percentage of the worker’s income if the person meets the qualifications and has a long-term disability.

It is not uncommon for the Social Security Administration to deny an SSDI application. There are numerous reasons for this, and some people may be able to appeal the decision.

Social Security Disability eligibility

According to the Social Security Administration, people are only eligible for SSDI benefits if they worked long enough in a job in which they paid Social Security taxes. Workers are only eligible if they are unable to work in any job, not just at their previous positions. Their disability must also be long-term, which means lasting at least one year or until death.

Reasons for SSDI denial

According to FindLaw, SSA denies the majority of initial claims for Social Security Disability benefits. A common reason for denial is that the medical condition is not long-lasting or is not severe enough to prevent work performance. As an applicant must prove both the presence of the medical condition and the fact it does not allow for the person to return to work in any capacity, being unable to provide this proof is a common reason for denial.

Some other claim denials occur because:

  • The applicant has already returned to the workforce

  • The applicant has a drug or alcohol addiction that caused the disability

  • The applicant did not follow the treatment plan prescribed by the medical doctor

If a denied applicant feels he or she can provide additional evidence to support the initial claim, there should be a request for reconsideration filed with the SSA. Oftentimes, a more thorough doctor’s report is sufficient to reverse the original denial decision.