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Why Are Some Social Security Disability Claims Denied?

Many of the Social Security disability claims that are filed every year are denied in the initial stages. In fact, according to some estimates, approximately 50% of all initial disability claims are denied.

There are medical as well as non-medical reasons for a denial. The most common reasons for the denial of a claim are medical. When a claim is denied for medical reasons, it means that the Social Security Administration (SSA) simply did not find that a person’s disability is serious enough to prevent them from going back to the work they performed previously, or performing any kind of work that would earn a sufficient income.

Remember, SSA has strict criteria which it uses to evaluate the severity of impairments and to determine whether they significantly impede an individual’s ability to work and earn an income. If the Social Security Disability Administration finds that you have a severe impairment which prevents you from being able to do the work you did in the past, or any other kind of work, and if you’re currently not earning a substantial gainful income, your chances of getting your claim approved are higher.

There are also nonmedical reasons for claim denials.  SSA will require that a claimant worked for a certain period of time, and paid into the social security system in order to be eligible for benefits. If those criteria are not met, the agency will deny your claim. This does not mean, however, that you will not qualify for assistance under another government program.  It simply means that SSDI is not an option for you.  The best way to ensure you have the best opportunity to receive the disability benefits you need is to have an experienced attorney working on your behalf.