Many claimants ask the question, “How many times can I be denied for SSI or SSDI benefits?” This question presupposes that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will at some point approve all SSDI and/or SSI applications if the claimant simply has enough fortitude, regardless of whether they meet the requirements of either program.
Unfortunately, this presupposition may cause some claimants to apply over and over again or make multiple SSDI or SSI appeals without really verifying that they qualify for disability benefits or not. It also may encourage laziness on the part of the applicant and discourage them from doing the necessary research to understand the programs and what it takes to win SSI or SSDI benefits.
Does everyone get approved for SSDI or SSI?
There are millions of applicants for SSDI or SSI each year and the bottom line is thousands of applicants do not meet the basic nonmedical requirements of either program; a fact that could be abundantly clear if they spent as little as 10 minutes reviewing the criteria for SSI or SSDI.
What does this mean for you? Save yourself some time and make sure you review the nonmedical requirements for SSDI and SSI BEFORE you apply. For SSDI this means you need a specific amount of work credits to qualify, you must not be currently working too much, your condition must be severe, and your condition must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. SSI has the same criteria except there are no requirements that you have worked or earned “credits” and your income and resource level must be very limited.
Make sure you understand how the SSA makes their disability determination
Review how the SSA makes their disability determination. The most important thing to understand is the SSA will use your current medical records to decide if you are disabled and you cannot work for 12 continuous months.
If you have not gone to the doctor do not rely on the SSA to send you to a doctor or to pay for proper medical care. This is beyond what the SSA will do for you. They may send you to a consultative examiner, but this will simply be a cursory evaluation of your condition and should not be considered “medical care.”
The main point is that with a little research you can eliminate potentially weeks, months or years floundering in the SSA system. And if you do not meet the medical or nonmedical requirements you can begin to make a new plan to support yourself.
The denial rate for SSI and SSDI applications is very high. Some claimants simply apply again and again rather than appealing their denial (which can be done for most denials within 60 days from the date of the denial letter).
If you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSI or SSDI and the SSA denied your case because your condition would not last 12 continuous months, was not considered severe, or they believe you have the ability to work less strenuous work you may have a better chance of winning SSI or SSDI through an appeal.
What’s the bottom line?
Many applicants will never qualify for SSI or SSDI benefits. Talk to a disability lawyer if you think you have a great case but you continue to get denied benefits. Multiple denials may indicate that you are not going to get approved or it could also mean you need to appeal your denial.
- SSDI – Applied a year ago, when will I hear from the SSA? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
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