What Gets Most Disability Claims Denied?

Sometimes, it’s hard to know why the SSA denied your claim. Major reasons for denied claims include:

  1. You made a mistake filling out your application, which is called a “technical denial.” This is the biggest reason, and it’s why 38% of first-time SSD applicants don’t win benefits!
  2. You’re still working when you apply for disability benefits. One rule the SSA uses to decide if you’re eligible is, “Are you still working?” Wait until five months after your disability forces you to stop working before filing your claim. That’s because legally, the SSA has a mandatory five-month waiting period before the agency can pay benefits on approved claims.
  3. You’re at full retirement age and can draw regular Social Security payments instead. This is because SSDI payments automatically convert to Social Security benefits once you reach your full retirement age. Federal law says you cannot receive both, which is called “double-dipping.”
  4. Your doctor says you’ll improve enough to start working again in less than a year. No matter how severe your condition is, if it won’t last at least 12 months, you won’t qualify for benefits.
  5. You aren’t regularly seeing a doctor to treat your disability (or didn’t provide medical evidence that supports your claim). The SSA needs to see convincing proof that your disability keeps you from working, also known as “substantial gainful employment.” If you’re skipping medication or doctor’s visits because you cannot afford them, a lawyer can help you address this issue.
  6. Your monthly earnings are $1,180 or more (even if you’re unemployed), so you make too much money to qualify. The SSA looks at your passive income from monthly alimony checks, child support payments, dividends, earned interest or anything else. If it’s over $1,180/month, that “SGA amount” automatically results in your claim’s denial.

Still not sure what made the SSA reject your application for benefits? Ask a lawyer to review your claim paperwork free of charge.