Common Reasons Your SSD Application May Be Denied

April 28, 2017

There are strict rules and requirements regarding eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSD) in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are applying, or plan to apply, for disability benefits, you should be aware of the reasons for possible denial by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you’ve been denied for these or any other reason, an experienced Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorney can help.

Common reasons for denial of Social Security Disability claims

  • Too much income. It is considered “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) when you are working above the limit at the time of your application. As of 2017, the SGA limit is a monthly income of $1,170 (for non-blind people). Though you can earn a certain amount of income from work when applying for and receiving benefits, earning too much income shows your ability to work, therefore deeming you as non-disabled under the eligibility guidelines.
  • Impairment lasting less than one year or lacking in severity. Social Security does not pay for partial or short-term disabilities or for any medical conditions that do not last for at least 12 months—with the exception of conditions that will result in death. For example, in cases of bone fractures, your disability claim would more than likely be denied; unless it is a severe bone fracture, which the SSA views as a year long impairment. In addition, your medical condition must cause severe limitations to qualify for disability.
  • No communication with SSA. The Disability Determination Services (DDS)—the agency responsible for determining your medical eligibility— and the SSA must be able to communicate with you regarding your application to discuss the details of your case. You may be denied if these agencies cannot reach you.
  • Refusal to cooperate. If you refuse to release vital medical records, your application will most likely be denied. If you refuse to undergo a consultative examination (CE) with an SSA-approved physician, you may also be denied due to a lack of supporting medical documentation and evidence to support your claim.
  • Failure to follow a set treatment plan. When being treated by a doctor, you are obliged to follow the treatment plan if it is expected to restore your ability to work. Failure to do so can lead to immediate denial. There are certain legitimate medical and non-medical circumstances in which you could still quality for benefits. An experienced Philadelphia social security disability lawyer can help you understand what those circumstances are.
  • Disability based on drug addiction. Benefits will be denied for individuals whose drug addiction, including alcoholism, contributed to their disability status.
  • Conviction of a crime. Certain criminal convictions may make you ineligible for disability benefits. Even if you think you will be ineligible because of your criminal history, it is important to speak with an attorney to fully understand your rights.
  • Commitment of fraud. Obtaining disability benefits through false means immediate termination of benefits. Individuals suspected of falsifying any part of their application will be prosecuted for fraud.

Unfortunately, the claims process can be stressful and confusing, but understanding the reasons for possible denial is important to move forward in the process. Each case will be evaluated on an individual basis. Our Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates can help you understand the eligibility requirements, guide you through the application process, and develop ways to overcome possible denial outcomes. Please contact us at 888.PITT.LAW. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.