Every year, millions of people apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, but more than half of these applications are denied. Understanding how and why an SSDI or SSI application is denied is essential to ensuring your own application has the best chance possible of being accepted. Here are five of the most common reasons that people’s applications for SSDI or SSI benefits are denied:
- Paperwork errors
- By far the biggest reason for SSDI and SSI denials is, simply, that people submit applications with mistakes on their application. They may make spelling or grammatical mistakes, leave critical sections blank, or even forget to submit required documentation. Combined, these basic mistakes account for more application denials than anything else, which is why it is important to get help when filling out your application.
- Lack of medical evidence
- In order to apply for SSDI or SSI, you must demonstrate that you have a serious medical condition that prevents you from performing gainful work. Unfortunately, however, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not simply take people at their word, and requires you to submit medical evidence, such as medical records or test results, to prove your disability. If you fail to submit adequate medical evidence, your application may be denied.
- Failure to follow medical advice
- One important caveat to obtaining SSDI and SSI benefits is that you need to demonstrate that your condition is not sufficiently responsive to medical treatment to allow you to work. This means you must show that you followed your doctor’s medical advice, including adhering to prescribed medical treatments and undergoing any necessary procedures and tests. If you refuse to follow your doctor’s advice, you could find your application denied.
- Making too much money
- SSDI and SSI benefits are intended for people who cannot financially support themselves as a result of their medical condition. Thus, both SSDI and SSI impose restrictions on how much money a person can make from gainful employment and still qualify for disability benefits. If you make more money than those programs permit, you will be denied for disability benefits.
- Failure to respond
- If you have any problems with your application, a representative from the SSA will contact you to address those problems. However, they will not pester you forever, and if you fail to respond to their requests, they may throw your application out. That is why you should always make sure to respond to any communications from the SSA, which can give you the best chance at success.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.