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SSDI application- Top 3 reasons you can be denied

Trying to get disability benefits can be like hitting a hammer against your leg again and again, it’s agonizing, painful, and mind-baffling. So what are you doing wrong on your SSDI application? Could you make a few changes to your SSDI application and have more success? Are you ever going to be approved for SSDI benefits?

Like many questions, the answer is it depends. Some claimants could apply one hundred times and never be approved; other claimants have simply made a mistake and if they tweak their application or get better medical records they could be approved immediately. So let’s discuss some of the most common reasons you may have had your SSDI application denied.


SSDI Application Denials

Reason #1

The most common reasons claimants have their SSDI application denied is because they do not understand the disability process and what they need to prove to be considered disabled. For instance, did you know that you must have a severe health condition which must last at least 12 continuous months? If you have a short-term condition or a condition which is considered not severe you will be denied benefits.

If the SSA has told notified you that your condition is not severe enough or it will not last 12 months you can challenge their assertion by providing additional medical evidence. This will require getting good medical care. If you are not able to see a doctor and the SSA does not have sufficient medical evidence they will send you to an SSA disability examiner, but do not rely on the examiner’s report to win benefits. Claimants report these reviews are very cursory, do not help their SSDI application, and generally result an SSDI denial.

Reason #2

Another common reason you can have your SSDI application denied is because you do not have enough work credits to be considered “insured” for SSDI. This means if you have not worked, paid payroll taxes, and contributed enough into the SSA disability system you will be automatically denied SSDI.

Another bit of bad news, if you do not have enough work credits you cannot buy, borrow, or steal credits to receive more. The only way to generate work credits is to earn them on your own work record.

Reason #3

The third reason you may have your SSDI application denied is because the SSA claims you can retrain for new work. What the SSA is saying is that your condition is not severe enough to “meet or exceed” a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments and you have had not provided enough medical evidence to convince them that you cannot retrain for some type of new work.

For example, if you have been working as a waitress standing and walking all day and you have been in a car accident and can no longer perform that type of work 8 hours per day, if the SSA has denied your claim for “new work” they are saying you should be able to train for some type of work (i.e. you might be able to retrain to be a receptionist, which does not require the same level of physical output).

Bottom Line:


Up to 70% of disability applicants are denied disability benefits the first time they apply. The reasons for the denial can vary. Review your denial notice and review which reasons can be challenged and which cannot.
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