Getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
    Most claims are denied because an SSA adjudicator--a disability adjudicator or a judge--will decide that the person can still do some type of other work, even if they can no longer do their past work.

    What if you Receive a Disability Denial from Social Security?
    Historically, the average rate of denial at the initial claim level is approximately 70 percent. Requests for reconsideration (this is the first appeal) which are also handled by DDS examiners are denied at an even higher rate--more than 80 percent.

    What does a Disability Denial Letter from Social Security say?
    The letter will typically begin by stating you are not disabled according to the rules of Social Security Disability and SSI. Following this statement will be a listing of the medical treatment sources that were used to make the decision, a listing of the conditions for which your claim was evaluated (e.g. depression, degenerative disc disease), and the following.

    How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security Disability or SSI?
    In order to file the disability appeal, you need to contact your local Social Security office or call the toll free Social Security number 1-800-772-1213 (it is usually best to contact the local office).

    Does Social Security turn down every disability case the first time?
    In actuality, there is no set number of times that a Social Security Disability or SSI claim has to be denied for an allowance (i.e. an approval) to be granted, nor is every disability claim automatically turned down the first time.

    Can You Avoid Being Denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
    Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will be approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI. There are some simple things you can do to improve your chances of being approved by a disability examiner, however.

    If you are Denied for Disability, Should you File a new Application or File an Appeal of the Denial?
    Filing a new disability application will mean that the claimant will need to go back to the social security office where they filed their first claim and repeat all the same previous steps

    If you are denied for disability, is this based on your ability to do your past work?
    The evaluation of Past work is a significant part of the decision process used by the social security administration for determining SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) and SSI (supplemental security income) disability claims.

    What Does It Mean If you Are Denied For Disability Because You can do Other Work?
    If the disability examiner determines that you can do a past job, your disability claim will be denied at this level. However, if they determine that you are unable to do any of your past work, they must consider "other work".

    Will Social Security deny my disability claim if I am working?
    Social Security Disability guidelines do not preclude all work activity. If you are working but not performing SGA, your disability claim may very well result in an approval for disability benefits.

    How Many Times Will Social Security Disability Deny You before You Get Approved for Disability?
    I cannot count the number of times claimants asked or halfway told me they thought their disability claim would be summarily denied at the initial disability claim level for no other reason except that "they heard all initial disability claims were denied and that it took two or three more to be approved".

    Will You Be Denied For Disability If Your Records Indicate You Can Return To Work?
    There is no reason to just assume that an individual's disability claim will be denied just because there is a mention that they can return to work in their records. Each disability case is evaluated upon its medical evidence.

    Can you still Appeal if the Judge denies your Disability Claim?
    Yes, in fact there are two levels of appeal beyond the hearing level. The first level of appeal after the hearing level is conducted at the appeals council. The appeals council is located in Falls Church, Virginia and one of its primary purposes is to evaluate decisions made by administrative law judges.

    What happens if you get denied for Social Security Disability three times?
    In a forum, an individual stated that they had gotten denied for disability benefits with the social security administration three times. They wondered what happened next in the process and what they should do.

    What Happens if a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim gets Denied on a Reconsideration Appeal?
    If the case was denied at the reconsideration appeal level, the disability lawyer will submit the second appeal that is available to claimants, a request for hearing before an administrative law judge. This appeal will, as was the case with the reconsideration, be sent to the social security office that has jurisdiction over the case. However, instead of being forwarded by the social security office to DDS, it will be sent to ODAR. ODAR stands for office of disability adjudication and review, although it is commonly referred to as simply "the hearing office."

    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.

    If you receive a Social Security Denial Letter, send a timely appeal and follow it up
    If you receive a social security denial letter, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to send in a timely appeal.

    Why Will A Social Security Disability Application Get Denied? (technical denials)
    Most Social Security Disability, or SSDI, claims are denied because an individual was not found medically disabled under the Social Security Disability guidelines.

    Social Security Disability Denied? The Reasons Why (medical denials)
    While it is true that it is difficult to win Social Security Disability benefits, the fact is that many applicants are not approved for disability benefits for two primary reasons: 1) they do not have sufficient medical documentation to back up their claim; and 2) they do not take full advantage of the appeals process if their initial application is denied.

    Social Security Notice of Denial for a Disability Application or Appeal
    Sometimes, through a mailing error or because a claimant has relocated without letting the local Social Security office know, the claimant does not receive the denial for several weeks, if ever.

    Social Security Denial - What should be done if your disability is denied?
    If you receive notification of a social security denial, you should do the following. 1. Contact the local social security office where you initially filed your claim to request an appeal. 2. If you representation, meaning a disability representative who can be either a disability lawyer or a non-attorney representative, contact that individual. 3. Make sure that your appeal is submitted before the deadline.4. Follow up on the appeal.

    What Are The Reasons For Social Security Disability Cases Being Denied?
    We can distill the way the entire disability system works by making this one statement: Most claims are denied because an SSA adjudicator--a disability adjudicator or a judge--will decide that the person can still do some type of other work, even if they can no longer do their past work.

    Can You Be Denied Social Security Disability If You Have Money In A Savings Account?
    Social Security Disability does not have income or resource eligibility requirements, because it is based upon an insured status that is earned through your work activity. It is not a need based disability program, which means you cannot be denied Social Security Disability because you have resources such as savings accounts However, if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits...

    Social Security Denied Me For SSD But Didn't Have All My Medical Records, What Do I Do?
    Social Security Disability examiners do not necessarily have to have all of an individual's medical records to make a medical decision on a claim. Disability examiners are obligated to request the records from all medical treatment sources provided by the disability applicant.

    If I Get Denied Twice For SSD or SSI Disability, What Do I Do?
    There are two ways to answer this question...

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.