Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Common reasons why Social Security claims are denied

At some point, nearly everyone suffers from an illness or injury that results in a long recovery. This may include days or weeks in bed, time off work, and perhaps even a hospital stay. However, if you are ill or injured and expect your condition to leave you disabled for at least a year, you may have considered applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Through SSDI, you can obtain financial assistance to help you with your medical care and your daily necessities. Applying for SSDI is a complex process, and most applicants are disappointed to learn the Social Security Administration has denied their claims. For a number of common reasons, the SSA denies first-time claims for benefits.

When will the SSA deny a claim?

If you understand the reasons why the SSA commonly rejects SSDI claims, you may have a better chance of avoiding those pitfalls. The SSA refuses to accept nearly 70 of all first claims, but that doesn't necessarily mean those claims did not have credibility. If an error in paperwork or insufficient documentation of your condition is the only reason for your rejection, you may have success on appeal. However, a claim may receive an outright denial for any of the following reasons or others:

  • Your disabling condition results from the past or present abuse of drugs or alcohol.
  • You will recover from your disability in less than one year.
  • Your current living situation does not allow the SSA to contact you, for example, you are homeless or you moved without notifying the agency.
  • You have not followed your doctor's treatment orders for your condition.
  • Your income exceeds the limits allowed by the SSA.
  • You neglected to release your medical records to the SSA or submit to any medical exams the agency requested.

Under most circumstances, the SSA will deny claims filed by someone who is currently incarcerated for a felony. Similarly, you may not obtain benefits if your condition is the result of an injury you suffered while committing a felony or while imprisoned.

If the SSA denies your claim for disability benefits, you have the right to request a reconsideration of the decision. To improve your chances of a successful claim, you may wish to seek the advice and guidance of an Alabama attorney who has experience in Social Security issues.

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