Top 4 Reasons Social Security Disability Claims Were Denied in 2012

Social Security Disability

Unfortunately, not everyone who will apply for Social Security disability will be awarded benefits. More than 630,000 people who applied for Social Security disability benefits in 2011 were denied coverage. Approximately more than 10.1 million people received SSDI in 2012, yet the Social Security Administration (SSA) discontinued benefits for 728,320 workers, according to the “Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security disability insurance program, 2012.” The report, which was released in November 2013, noted that while the SSA does award Social Security disability benefits in the majority of cases, hundreds of thousands of people who file Social Security disability claims are denied every year for specific reasons. The application and review process can be complicated, here are the four main reasons why Social Security disability claims may be denied:



1. Impairment Was Not Considered Severe Enough to Warrant Social Security Disability Benefits

While the SSA’s definition of a disability includes numerous forms of impairment, if an applicant’s medical condition still allows him or her to work, the person may not be awarded benefits. However, it all depends on the severity of the person’s condition. In 24.5% of denied cases in 2012, the reason for the rejection was because the applicant’s disability was found not to be severe enough for benefits.

2. Impairment Would Not Exceed 12 Months
To receive Social Security disability benefits, the applicant needs to be disabled for a certain period of time. According to the report, 5% of claims that were denied in 2012 were rejected because the applicant’s disability was not expected to last 12 months.

3. Applicant Was Able to Finish Past Work While Being Disabled
Although 87.5% of Social Security disability beneficiaries in 2012 were workers, 22.7% of denied claims that year were because the applicant was able to do his or her past work. The SSA evaluates the person’s work history, including the type of work he or she did and the individual’s positions, to determine if he or she is eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

4. Applicant Could Do Other Types of Work
The majority of Social Security disability benefits claims (32.4%) that were denied in 2012 were due to the applicant being able to perform other types of work. However, just because the applicant is able to find additional work does not necessary mean he or she will be denied Social Security disability benefits under this category. Every 1 in 8 Social Security disability benefits recipients in 2012 actually received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments as a second or another source of their income.

In addition to these denials, the SSA also uses an “other” category to define denied claims that do not reasonably fit under the four above categories. In 2012 15.5% of rejected Social Security disability benefits claims were categorized under “other.” This category often covers those claims where there is insufficient medical evidence or a lack of claim development.

Don’t give up if you are denied the first time
Understanding why people are unable to receive Social Security disability benefits can help those thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits to determine their chances of being approved. However, even if you believe your case may not meet all of the required criteria, it is important that you still apply – and continue to apply – for SSDI. Your Social Security disability judge will ultimately be the one who decides whether you are awarded Social Security disability benefits, and the vast majority of applicants do receive payments through the program.

In fact, if your claim is denied, you should request an appeal immediately. You have a 60-day timeframe to appeal your ruling. Having an experienced Social Security attorney on your side during the appeals process may be extremely beneficial to you and your claim.

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