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Common Reasons Social Security Disability Applications Are Denied

Filing a Social Security disability application can be a huge boon to a person who is injured or disabled to the point where they cannot return to work, assuming that the application is approved. Social Security disability benefits are intended to help a person who cannot earn an income pay for their basic costs of living, like housing and food. While these benefits are absolutely essential for thousands of Americans, often times, Social Security disability applications are denied. If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, or if your application has recently been denied, consider these common reasons why Social Security disability claims are denied:

Application Is Incomplete

Failing to fill out a Social Security disability application in full can quickly result in the claim’s denial. Luckily, in the majority of cases the Social Security Administration will contact you requesting more information, which you will be able to provide to the administration within a certain time frame. When an application is incomplete, you will have the opportunity to reapply or appeal an application, however, failing to fill your application out in full the first time leads to a needless and time consuming hiccup in the process.

Application Lacks Proper Medical Language

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must suffer from a disability that is found on the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments. In order to prove that you have a disability on this list, you will need to submit medical evidence to support your claim. If you submit an application that is lacking the proper medical language necessary to substantiate your claim, or which suggests that your disability is not severe enough to last for a minimum of 12 months or/and result in death, your claim will likely be denied.

 Applicant Failed to Comply with a Consultative Exam

When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, there is a good chance that the Social Security Administration will contact you with a request for a consultative exam. A consultative exam is an exam where doctors – who are chosen by the Social Security Administration – examine the applicant to determine the validity and extent of disability. According to Consultative Examinations: A Guide for Health Professionals, published by the Social Security Administration, a consultative examination will be scheduled if the medical evidence provided by an applicant is determined to be “inadequate.”

A consultative examination is an important step in the Social Security disability benefits process; if the consultative exam concludes in your favor – with the doctor(s) determining that you are indeed disabled to the level of impairment required for benefits – then your claim will likely be approved. On the other hand, if you fail to attend your scheduled consultative exam, then it is likely that your application will be denied.

Applicant Makes Too Much Money

Social Security disability benefits are federal benefits, and in order to qualify for them, an applicant cannot earn above a certain income threshold. The threshold is different for those who are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance and those who are applying for Supplemental Security Income, the two types of disability programs operated by the Social Security Administration.

For Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, there is no limit on the amount of unearned income or assets that a person can have in order to qualify for benefits. However, there is a limit on the amount of earned income that a person can make; one cannot be working and making money and receive benefits. This is known as the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. For 2016, the limit is $1,130 per month for non-blind individuals, and $1,820 per month for blind individuals, according to the Social Security Administration.

For Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, both earnings and current assets are taken into consideration when determining whether or not an applicant is eligible for benefits. You cannot qualify for SSI if your resources – including bank accounts, real estate, stocks, bonds, and cash – total more than $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple. However, certain assets, like a home, a life insurance policy, and a single vehicle are typically not factored into this number.

If your application for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, it may simply be because you are too high of an income earner. Unless your income level drastically changes or there was an error or your application, even filing for an appeal will not change this; income limits are fixed.

Applicant Failed to Hire a Lawyer to Help Secure Benefits

Finally, one of the most common mistakes that Social Security disability benefit claimants make is failing to hire an attorney to guide them through the process of filing their Social Security disability benefits application, ensuring that they comply with all requests made by the Social Security Administration – such as the request for more information or the request to schedule a consultative examination, and appealing a denied claim. A Social Security disability lawyer can work with an applicant from the very beginning, improving their chances of their claim being approved the first time by assisting the client in making sure that their application is filled out completely, accurately, and that it contains the important information that the Social Security Administration is looking for.

Contact the Frank Jenkins Law Office for a Free Case Consultation Today

Understanding the disability determination process can be confusing, and if your claim has been denied, you may not understand why. While you can read more about how decisions are made on the Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, we encourage you to contact an experienced lawyer at your earliest convenience.

At the Frank Jenkins Law Office, we know how important Social Security disability benefits are to you and your family, and we know the negative impact a denied application can have on your life and your future. If you are in need of Social Security disability benefits, we want to help you.

When you contact our law offices, we will get back to you promptly to schedule a free case consultation with our experienced Kentucky SSD attorney. When you work with a disability lawyer, the chances of your claim being approved improve greatly. Contact us now to get started.