So you’ve applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and been denied. You may feel this is unfair, and that you have a right to disability benefits. It is helpful to understand why SSDI benefits may be refused. Some factors are beyond your control, but there are some things you can do to avoid your claim being denied.
Why Claims Are Denied
Your disability isn’t severe enough. In order to receive benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine that your disability will last at least 12 months or result in your death. The only exception to this is for blind applicants.
You make too much. If you are working above the limit considered “substantial gainful activity” (SGA), you earn too much to be considered disabled. In 2016, the SGA limit is $1,130 per month. Investment income is not included in this figure.
You don’t cooperate. Medical records are essential in determining the extent of your disability, and if you refuse to release them to the SSA, your claim will almost certainly be turned down. SSA may also require you to be examined by an SSA doctor. Failure to comply – and additional visits may be necessary – could lead to denial of your claim.
You don’t follow the prescribed treatment or therapy. Your doctor will prescribe certain treatment or therapy for your condition. If you fail to follow this regimen, your claim could be denied.
The SSA can’t contact you. They must be able to communicate with you regarding matters related to your claim. If you have an attorney representing you, they will communicate with you through those means. But you should still keep in close contact with your attorney.
You have a criminal record. There are certain conditions related to crime and imprisonment that could lead to denial of your claim. For example, if you were injured while committing a felony or while in prison, you can be denied benefits.
You commit fraud. If you get SSDI benefits by fraudulent means, your benefits will be terminated and you will be prosecuted.
Drugs or alcohol have contributed to your disability. If drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor to your disability, SSA will deny your claim.
Let us help
If your SSDI claim has been denied, all is not lost. You can appeal within 60 days. In fact, it is during the appeals process that the claimant has the best chance of winning. And appealing is better than filing a new claim; filing a new claim will likely result in another refusal. The experienced attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. can help you with your appeal and give you the best chance of winning the benefits you deserve.