Why Was My Social Security Disability Claim Denied?

Securing Social Security disability (SSD) benefits is notoriously challenging. If your claim is denied, in fact, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ineligible for the program. Roughly 2 out of 3 applicants are denied benefits the first time around, though many are successful when they proceed with an appeal.

If your claim was recently denied, the easiest way to pinpoint why is by consulting an attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can review your application—and all subsequent correspondence you’ve had with the Social Security Administration (SSA)—to determine whether challenging the decision could be worthwhile.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why SSD claims are denied (and when filing an appeal might have merit):

1. The Claim Was Not Supported by Enough Evidence

In order to confirm eligibility, the SSA needs to see legitimate evidence of the alleged disability. If a claim does not include enough medical evidence, it will likely be denied.

Claims are also denied when the documentation fails to demonstrate how the disability in question hinders the claimant’s ability to earn a living wage. As such, it’s imperative to include testimony from relevant vocational experts in addition to a complete set of medical records in your claim or, if you failed to do so initially, in your appeal. 

2. The Claimant Did Not Follow Medical Advice

Those who don’t play an active role in their treatment can expect their SSD claim to be denied. Even if your disability doesn’t have a cure, the SSA wants to see that you’re following your doctor’s orders and doing everything possible to at least minimize the worst of your symptoms.

If the SSA denies your claim under the assumption that you somehow contributed to the severity of your condition, an attorney may be able to gather the evidence needed to demonstrate otherwise for your appeal.  

3. The Claimant Is Still Earning a Living Wage

Disability benefits are for those who are unable to make enough to support themselves because of a qualifying condition that keeps them out of the workforce. If you’re still able to work at least a little and you’re earning some regular income, there’s a good chance your claim will be denied.

In 2021, SSD benefits are reserved for those who earn less than $1,260 per month. That means if you’re disabled but you earn more than that, you are ineligible.

It’s worth noting that this cap is higher for those who are blind. Blind applicants can earn up to $2,110 per month and still qualify for benefits.

How Long Do I Have to Appeal a Denial?

If your Social Security disability claim was denied but you think you meet the requirements to qualify for benefits, you have 60 days from the date on which you received the denial to request an appeal in writing.

Discuss Your Case with a Social Security Disability Attorney in Stuart

For help securing the benefits you deserve, turn to Donaldson & Weston. Our compassionate team is proud to advocate for injured, ill, and disabled parties.

We have recovered more than $100 million on behalf of our valued clients. To schedule your free case review with a Social Security disability lawyer in Stuart, fill out our Online Contact Form or call 772-266-5555.