The Social Security disability attorneys at Disability Associates provide the four most common reasons an individual may be denied Social Security benefits.

When preparing for the application process to obtain Social Security disability benefits, it can be just as useful to understand the reasons you may be denied as it is to have knowledge of the reasons you should receive benefits. In many instances, the reasons for rejection are out of your control, but majority of the time, you may be able to avoid major pitfalls that would otherwise negatively affect your chances of being approved.

Recognizing and understanding these four common reasons for being denied Social Security disability benefits will provide you with a better familiarity of the Social Security disability benefits application process and help you avoid some costly mistakes along the way.

  1. Your monthly income is too high. One of the most basic reasons you could be denied benefits is that you simply earn too much money to be considered disabled at the time of your application. This means you are over the “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) limit, which is currently $1,090 per month for 2015. While you are allowed to work a minimal amount throughout the application process, you become ineligible when you exceed the SGA as you are perceived as earning too much.
  2. Your disability won’t affect you long-term. The Social Security Administration (SSA) must conclude that your impairment is severe enough to last at least 12 months. Many disabilities resulting from acute trauma are denied because the impairment isn’t life-altering beyond 12 months. However, it’s important to note that each case is evaluated on an individual basis, so what may qualify as rejection for one applicant, may result in approval for another.
  3. You fail to communicate with the SSA. The SSA and Disability Determination Services (DDS) must be able to communicate with you regarding your application as they are the agencies that determine medical eligibility for benefits. If these agencies cannot reach you to schedule examinations or communicate with you about critical matters, your benefits may be denied. This is just one instance where hiring an attorney is extremely beneficial because you as an applicant may not have to worry about maintaining direct communication.
  4. You refuse to comply with SSA requirements. Your medical records are vital to determining whether you are a legitimate candidate for benefits. When refusing to release those records to the SSA, your claim will likely be denied. It’s common for the SSA to request additional information about your impairments if you have incomplete medical records or you don’t have a primary care physician. You may be required to see a doctor assigned by the SSA for a consultative examination or attend follow-up appointments until all information has been collected. Failing to cooperate with the SSA for this procedure may result in being denied due to lack of adequate medical records.

Remember, every applicant’s situation is unique, so no preconceived outcomes are guaranteed. Taking these four common reasons for benefit denial into consideration will provide you with a better grasp on the application process, and consulting with a disability attorney may prove beneficial for ensuring that the requirements are met and could provide the greatest chance of approval. Receiving disability benefits can be a significant life-changing event, so don’t leave it to chance.

For more information about reasons that could prevent you from receiving Social Security disability benefits or your individual circumstances, contact Disability Associates today.