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5 Common Reasons Behind Denied Social Security Disability Claims

There are a lot of people who apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits every year. Therefore, the Social Security Administration (SSA) handles millions of applications, and they are thorough with them despite the time and effort required to deal with them. This is why only 30% of applicants are approved at the initial level of the claims process.

Indeed, a lot of SSD claims are denied. The reasons behind application denials vary, but here are the five common ones: 

Lack Of Medical Evidence

An essential factor in qualifying for SSD benefits is having solid proof that you are unable to work due to your current condition. You need to have all the necessary medical records showing that your disability is interfering with your ability to work. Keep in mind that even if Social Security sends you for a medical exam, that is not enough to serve as substantial evidence. That is why it is crucial for you to discuss with your physician how your condition impacts your everyday life.

Prior Claim Denials

If you think that filing a new disability claim when you get denied is the best thing to do, you might want to reconsider. Most of the time, your claim will be denied when your record shows prior claim denials. People file for a new claim when they get denied to avoid the appeals process. The thing is, going through the appeals process is often necessary. It gives you a higher chance of getting approved compared to filing a new disability claim. 


If your income can still provide for your needs, then it is likely that your claim will be denied. However, this only applies if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because your earnings will not be considered for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Remember: the Social Security Administration will only approve claims for people who are unable to have sufficient income due to their disability.

Unable To Follow Your Doctor’s Orders

Your doctor will provide you with specific treatments to help you feel better and improve your quality of life. However, if you fail to undergo them, the SSA will deny your claim. When you do not follow the course of treatment provided for you, the examiner will not be able to determine whether your condition hinders you from working.

You have to stick to the treatment plan your doctor comes up with. In case there is a valid reason you can’t do so, you need to bring this up during the appeals process. 

Unable To Cooperate

You need to work with the people handling your claim. Failing to do so will lead to a denied claim. Make sure you stay in contact with the person assigned to your case, provide everything that is needed, and submit requirements in a timely manner.

The SSD benefits program offers a comprehensive set of appeals guidelines that promote a high success rate. Appealing a decision means that you truly believe you deserve the disability benefits. Once you decide on that course of action, you could consider hiring a social security attorney to help you with the process.