4 Common Reasons for Social Security Disability Claim Denials

October 13, 2016

Social Security Disability benefits are available to those who meet the basic requirements of the program, which include an illness (either physical or mental) that is severe enough to keep the applicant from being able to work, and is expected to last at least twelve months or longer. The applicant must also have worked enough years to qualify for the program.

One of the challenges of the SSD insurance program is that there is a high rate of denials on initial application. There are a few common reasons for most SSD denials, and when you work with a qualified Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorney from Larry Pitt & Associates, you can be sure that you will not fall prey to these common pitfalls that can happen when people try to go it alone. When you have the benefit of an experienced SSD attorney who has helped countless clients before you successfully obtain benefits, you can feel confident that your application has a much better chance of being approved.

In Pennsylvania, 33 percent of initial applications for Social Security Disability benefits was approved in 2013, and another 19 percent were approved after reconsideration, and processing time can range from just under a year to 15 months.

Here are some of the common reasons Social Security Disability claims get denied upon initial application:

  1. Insufficient medical evidence to prove medical impairment

According to the SSA, the most common medical reason for a SSD application to be denied at the initial application stage is that the applicant’s impairment is not expected to last 12 months, and that the impairment is not severe enough. In these cases, the applicant did not supply sufficient medical evidence to support their claim that they were too disabled to work. Building a strong case with sufficient medical evidence it vital to having any chance of getting your SSD application approved.

  1. The applicant does not meet the basic, non-medical requirements for the Social Security Disability program

The basic, non-medical requirements for Social Security Disability include a sufficient work history. The applicant must have worked enough years and paid enough FICA taxes into the system in order to qualify for benefits. If the applicant does not cooperate with the Social Security Administration and supply them with the additional information they request, or if the applicant fails to show up for a scheduled medical examination, their claim might be denied.

  1. Applicant makes too much money

If an individual is working enough to earn the SSA’s annual SGA threshold (substantial gainful activity), which is currently $1130 per month for non-blind individuals. If the applicant is able to earn the SGA amount or more, regardless of their disability, their application will be denied.

  1. Mistakes or missing information on the application

Even if the applicant meets all of the other requirements of being disabled enough, and unable to earn SGA, their application may still be denied if they do not complete the application thoroughly and accurately. If the applicant made mistakes on the application, left some questions blank or failed to submit certain documentation their application may be denied.

These are just a few of the dozens of reasons an application for Social Security Disability benefits might be denied. If you believe that you might qualify for SSD benefits, you might want to consider scheduling a free consultation with a Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorney from the law firm of Larry Pitt & Associates.

To learn more about the services we offer, or to speak with an experienced Philadelphia SSD lawyer, please call 888.PITT.LAW or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment at any of our office locations serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.