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SSDI- Denied SSDI four times, Help!

Recently on our disability forum we had a user ask, “If I have been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) four times do I have a chance of ever winning benefits?” This applicant is obviously frustrated and probably has been fighting the Social Security Administration for years. Whether or not they can ever win SSDI benefits depends on several factors which will be addressed in this blog.

Why Do I keep getting Denied SSDI?

First, SSDI applicants have to be honest with themselves. Many SSDI applicants will never be approved for benefits. Denials happen for a variety of reasons including:

1. Claimant has insufficient work credits for SSDI

If you have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance and you have not worked and paid enough into the SSA system you will never be approved for SSDI. You cannot borrow credits from a spouse or buy more credits. You also cannot beg and plead with the SSA to give you more work credits. If you have not worked or paid enough taxes you will always be denied SSDI, no matter how many time you apply for benefits.

2. The SSA determines your condition is not severe enough to qualify for SSDI

If you are pregnant or you have a pain in your hand the SSA will determine that while you may be unable to work at this very minute, your condition is not severe enough to win SSDI benefits. Unfortunately, the SSA also does not offer any type of partial disability. You will have to be 100% disabled to get SSDI.

3. The condition is not expected to last for 12 continuous months

This requirement confuses many SSDI applicants who feel that since they cannot work at this moment due to a severe health condition that the Federal Government should offer them some time of disability benefit. SSDI was never intended as a short term disability benefit program. It was only intended for claimants who basically have a permanent disabling health condition. If you have been denied because the SSA thinks your condition will not last 12 months but you think it will, go to the doctor and get more information or medical proof that you have a long-term condition.

Finally, SSDI applicants also need to evaluate whether or not they should continue to apply for SSDI over and over again or if it makes more sense for them to appeal their denial and move into the SSA appeals process.

Although most claimants are denied at the Reconsideration level, which is the first step in the appeals process, many claimants do have a better chance at winning at the administrative hearing, which is the second level in the appeals process. Getting in front of a judge who has the authority and power to give you benefits is generally helpful. Telling your story in person can also help.

My advice is take a good look at your denial letter and be realistic about your chances. Are you really disabled? Is there any work you can do with your condition? If you can work, stop wasting the time of the SSA, if you cannot work, then find out what you need to do to win SSDI.

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