Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Disability Advice Tips
How long do cases take?
How to win Disability
SSD Mistakes to avoid
Disability for Mental
What if you get denied?
How to file Appeals
Disability through SSA
SSI Disability Benefits
Disability for Children
How do I qualify for it?
Working and Disability
Disability Award Notice
Disability Lawyer Q&A
Disability Conditions List
What is a disability?
Your Medical Evidence
Filing for your Disability
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by
SSDRC Disability Blog
Will Social Security Deny You Disability Without Looking At Your Medical Records?
Social Security can deny your disability without looking at any of your medical records and they can do this for a few reasons. Some reasons apply to both SSI disability and Social Security disability, while others apply to one disability program or the other.
If you are applying for Social Security disability or SSI disability, your disability claim can be denied for the performance of SGA-level work activity (SGA is simply an earnings limit for work activity - if you are able to work and earn this amount or more, you will not be considered disabled).
The Social Security definition of disability states you must have been unable to work, or will not be expected to be able to work, for twelve months due to your disabling condition. If you are working and earning over the SGA limit, your disability claim will be denied without any consideration of your medical records no matter what your disabling condition is.
You can also be denied for SSDI or SSI disability if you fail to provide necessary forms or information needed to send your disability claim for a medical determination. This denial is called a failure to cooperate denial. In other words, you failed to cooperate in the development of your disability claim.
These are the two most common reasons that both your SSI disability and Social Security disability claims can be denied without looking at your medical records. Lets take a look at some reasons that apply to SSDI or SSI disability individually.
Lack of Insurance Eligibility for Social Security Disability
Your Social Security disability claim can be denied without looking at your medical records if you are not insured for Social Security disability. Social Security disability is a disability insurance program based on quarters of coverage (work credits) earned through your work activity. If you do not have enough work credit quarters to be insured for disability benefits, or you have not worked enough in the ten years prior to becoming disabled, your disability claim will be denied for a lack of disability insured status without looking at your medical records.
Non-Medical Denials for SSI Disability
If you are filing for SSI disability, your disability claim can be denied for income or resource limits without a review of your medical records. If you have more income (earnings, pensions, VA benefits, Workman’s compensation, long term or short term disability benefits, etc.) than the SSI income limit, your disability claim will be denied for excess income.
Your SSI disability claim can also be denied for excess resources (land or houses other than the house and land you live on, vehicles (usually your highest valued vehicle is excluded), insurance policies with cash value, inheritance, 401K or stocks, etc. Basically, anything that can be readily converted to cash can be considered a resource for the purposes of the SSI resource limit.
There are other technical denials that might cause your disability claim to be denied without a review of your medical records. However, the vast majority of disability applicants are not denied for both disability programs prior to being sent for a medical determination. Most applicants meet the qualifications for Social Security disability or SSI disability, and many meet the disability qualifications of both disability programs.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
What is a Social Security Disability Denial based on?
Are there ways to avoid being denied for SSI or social security disability?
What does a Disability Denial Letter from Social Security say?
Reconsideration of a Social Security Disability denial- what does it involve?
What to do if you receive notification of a Social Security Disability or SSI claim denial
If you receive a Social Security Disability Denial quickly does that mean the case is weak?
What happens if my SSI or Social Security Disability Application is denied?
Social Security Disability Denied — The Reasons Why (medical denials)
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria