When planning to apply for your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may naturally believe you should get the benefits. But, it helps to know that you may or may not receive the benefits.

To turn things around and reduce the chances of your request getting rejected, you need to understand why your SSDI application might be rejected and when to hire a disability lawyer to strengthen your case. That way, you can easily avoid doing things that may result in denial.

Sadly, most Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications are often rejected. According to the SSA (Social Security Administration), the acceptance rate of applications between 20010-19 averaged 22%. And another 8% of applications were approved upon reconsideration. On the other hand, about 63% of SSDI applications get denied soon after applying.

Each SSDI benefits claim indeed varies. But, there are popular reasons the claims often get denied. Even though your disability claim gets declined, it doesn't imply that you don't qualify for benefits. Many legitimate claims often fail to be approved by the SSA and are later reconsidered.

Often, you get 60 days from the date of your SSDI application rejection to file a request for reconsideration. This request kick-starts the reconsideration process for your disability claims.

So, let's find out some leading reasons why your claims could be denied.

1. Your Disability Isn't Severe Enough

If your medical condition does not cause severe limitations, you may not qualify for the SSDI benefits. Many claims are denied for this reason.

The SSA offers vital support to people under various medical conditions who cannot work to a certain extent. Obtaining these benefits can prove challenging. That's why many disability claims get rejected initially.

But, once denied, you don't have to lose hope. Understand that you are entitled to such resources if you sustain an injury or illness that limits you from working for an extended period.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer

The best way to protect your rights and receive the disability benefits you deserve is to talk to an experienced disability lawyer. These expert Social Security Disability lawyers can collect the documentation to support your case and help you navigate the legal system.

The documents include solid medical proofs that show your condition's severity and how it limits your working ability. Once the disability attorney uses this as evidence and proves that you deserve SSD benefits, your application gains its merit.

Without comprehensive medical records and documentation, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) would hardly establish if you meet the social security disability approval criteria.

The lawyers for disability claims will also file your long-term social security disability claims. You would also be told that your long-term disability insurance (private or one attained through your employer) differs from social security disability.

The social security disability attorney can intervene in your case during such instances. Here, you have an expert SSD lawyer that will fight for your case by pleading extensively on your behalf.

2. You Get Too Much Income

SSDI beneficiaries cannot do Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) and still receive disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration often limits the amount you can earn from working when you receive SSD benefits. This is because if you can receive a substantial income amount, you aren't considered a disabled person.

SGA refers to work that gets you to earn a monthly income over a particular mark. By 2022, the maximum amount that you should make to get considered for the disability benefits is:
  • 1,350 USD for non-blind disabled SSDI or SSI applicants
  • 2,260 USD for blind SSDI applicants
In short, you are considered doing SGA if you work and earn more than 1,350 USD monthly in 2022. But, making anything below that amount in 2022 won't affect your disability benefits. You can also deduct the impairment-related job expenses from the whole amount.

If you work part-time and are not getting much money, your request won't get denied instantly. But doing any substantial job like working full-time guarantees that you'll be denied the benefits.

To identify SGA, the Social Security Administration does not count any income you might obtain from non-work sources. Such sources include:
  • Investments
  • Interests
  • Gifts
Social Security has made some exceptions to the rule to motivate SSDI recipients to return to work. The recipients qualify for a 'trial work period.' This is where they can earn more than the indicated SGA amount without losing their disability benefits.

What Does Trial Work Period Entail?

The nine-month trial work period allows SSDI recipients to test their ability to work. Here, you continue receiving full benefits despite earning more than the SGA amount.

As of 2022, the Social Security Administration considers any month a person receives more than $970 income to be a 'trial work month.' Any month you work over 80 hours for self-employed people is considered a trial work month. Also, the nine months don't have to be consecutive, as long as they sum up to nine.

Once you get over the trial work period, you can still get SSDI for any other month where your earnings go below the SGA level and for 36 months.

The three years is known as the extended period of eligibility. This implies that if you earn anything below $1,350 in any month within this period, you will receive the benefits. But, if you make over $1,350 in any month, you won't receive the disability benefits for that month.

If the SSA stops your SSDI payments because of Substantial Gainful Activity, the agency will grant you five years in which you can have the benefits reinstated. This is if you stop working again due to the disability.

The five years come under an expedited reinstatement period. Thankfully, the SSA won't require that you start the process of filing a new disability application to receive the benefits.

3. Your Disability Isn't Long Lasting

To qualify for SSDI benefits, the SSA must believe that your disability case lasts a minimum of 12 months. The only exception to the duration requirement is for blind Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants.

Many claims, like those relating to bone fractures, result from acute trauma like motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents. The SSA tends to deny the SSDI benefits because such cases do not cause impairment for up to a year.

Almost every instance of bone fracture heals in less than 12 months. But, if your bone fracture is severe and doesn't heal after six months, the SSA will likely believe your impairment will last for more than a year.

In this case, they might offer you social security disability benefits. So, each case is evaluated uniquely.

Other Reasons Why Your SSDI Claim is Getting Denied

  • The SSA cannot locate you when they need to communicate concerning your application.
  • You refuse to cooperate by releasing the relevant records to the SSA or giving additional details about your disability.
  • You refuse to follow the prescribed doctor's therapy or orders when you can. Yet, the treatment or doctor's guidelines is what can restore your capacity to do a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
  • Your disability results from alcoholism or drug addiction
  • You commit fraud by trying to obtain disability benefits through dishonest means.
  • You were injured while committing an offence that caused you a criminal conviction.

Key Takeaways

Understanding why your SSD application can be denied is crucial. Knowing what doesn’t work will increase your chances of success if you plan to apply for the benefits. And, if you had applied before and SSA declined your request, you can know what went wrong. Thus, you get a chance to do things right.

Please note that if you have a representative like a disability attorney to handle your paperwork, constantly stay in touch with the social security disability lawyer.

This will help the SSD attorney present the timely and correct information to the Social Security Administration. If you move to another place while your application is under consideration, ensure the SSA knows how to reach you.

So, if your application was denied initially, appealing can be easier with the lawyers for disability claims. They have the knowledge and experience to help you in every step. Most importantly, it helps to be patient and stay positive throughout the process.