Why Are SSD Claims Denied?

It is an unfortunate fact of life: Most Social Security disability claimants can expect to be denied when they file a claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Statistics indicate that roughly 65% of initial SSD claims may be denied. And reconsiderations – this is the first step of appeals – are denied in up to 85% of cases.

In our legal experience, we have found that SSD claims can be denied for many reasons. It is vital to understand why yours was denied before you file your appeal. That will tell you what you must address to ensure that you win your appeal. The reasons for SSD denial that are most common are:

You Failed to Meet Basic, Non-Medical Requirements

This is often called a technical denial. The agency will refuse to even review your medical records if you do not meet their basic requirements for eligibility. For SSD, you will get a technical denial if you earn above the ‘substantial gainful activity limit’ of $1,090 each month or if you lack enough work credits.

Sometimes applicants do not receive disability because they simply do not comply with requirements. They may not get to their SSA appointment; or they may fail to provide enough information about how much money they make; or they may not disclose every doctor they visited.

It is very important for you to meet all the eligibility requirements for your case to be duly considered by SSA. This a very good reason to have your SSD case handled by an experienced SSD attorney such as John R. Colvin. He can review your case to ensure that you have the maximum chance to be approved for disability.

Medical Condition Is Not Severe Enough

This is another common reason for denial. The medical condition has to stop you from being able to work for a year or more, or lead to death. If the medical problem is likely to improve in the next year, or SSA thinks the condition is not severe, you will get a denial.

You also may be denied even if SSA acknowledges that you have a medical problem. They may argue that your medical problem does not prevent you from doing all work. Remember, SSA defines disability as being unable to get any ‘substantial, gainful’ type of employment. SSA argues generally that disability is intended as the last safety net. Some disabled people may not always suffer a permanent disability. The government wants people to try to recover so that they can at least do some gainful work.

It is important to understand how SSA views disability: the last of the safety nets. If you are really injured and unable to work, you can increase the chances of getting approved by retaining an experienced SSD attorney.

You Fail To Comply With Doctor’s Treatment Plan

Generally, SSA will view your failure to have treatments as your not trying to get better. This will get you a denied claim. If the SSA thinks you are not really trying to improve your health, because you are not following your doctor’s instructions, they will have a tough time approving you for benefits.

How to Improve Your Chances of SSD Approval

It is difficult but not impossible to be approved for Social Security disability. You can boost your chances of approval with these tips:

  • Provide all known sources of your medical treatments. This includes providing complete contact information for every physician and hospital. People assume that SSA can find their medical sources. This is not true; the SSA database does not have the contact information for every medical provider in the U.S.
  • Provide updated information about your recent treatments. No SSD approval can occur if there is not recent medical evidence. Recent evidence is defined as treatment that has been done in the last three months. Without current evidence, it is impossible for SSA to know if you are still disabled.
  • Provide treatment information as far back as possible. At the least, go back to the start of your current medical condition. This information is very important for you to receive the appropriate amount of back pay.
  • Provide details of your work history. Provide a lot of detail of your employment dates, how long you worked at each employer, and details of what you did.

Remember: Getting approved for SSD is difficult.

But it is made easier with the help of a proven, experienced Social Security disability lawyer.

Why Are SSD Claims Denied? Learn more.

Attorney John R. Colvin has been assisting people in Tennessee with Social Security disability benefits for more than 20 years. If you have questions about your case, please contact us at 1-931-962-1044, or submit a query on our online form. Put John R. Colvin’s experience and success to work on your case.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama