The 5 main reasons for SSD claim denial and how to respond

You may have heard that the Social Security Administration denies the majority of first-time claims for disability benefits.

Why is that, and what is your next step?

About denying claims

Out of the millions of applications for Social Security Disability benefits filed each year, the SSA only approves about 30% the first time around. Since you have probably paid into Social Security your entire working life, you find this difficult to understand. To provide clarification, here are the top five reasons that the SSA denies an application:

  • Prior denials: If the claim reviewer sees that you have been denied benefits previously, he or she may deny you benefits again.
  • Lack of sufficient medical evidence: You must present medical records showing that your disability interferes with your ability to work.
  • Failing to follow treatment: If you have a valid reason for not following doctor’s orders, you can bring it up during the appeals hearing.
  • Income issues: Denial comes into play only if you are applying for SSI benefits. It will not affect your ability to receive SSDI.
  • Failing to cooperate: During the application process, you may develop less-than-cordial feelings for the SSA, but it will be in your best interests to cooperate with the agency. You must appear for a scheduled medical exam and provide any documentation the SSA requests or they will deny your application for benefits.

Going forward

While you will no doubt feel disappointed if the SSA denies your application for disability benefits, you must remember that a denial does not mean you should give up. The next step is to request a hearing, but keep in mind that you only have a certain window of time in which to do so. You want to take best advantage of this opportunity, so do not hesitate to explore your legal options. 

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