5 Common Reasons You Could Be Denied SSDI Or SSI Benefits

Posted on: 28 June 2017


For anyone in need of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, getting a rejection letter in the mail can be a deflating experience. But chances are you're not the only one - upwards to 65 percent of claims for SSDI and SSI are denied at the initial phase. There are plenty of reasons why your initial application for SSDI or SSI disability benefits could be denied, as explained below.

You Don't Have Enough Medical Evidence of Your Disability

One common reason why so many people are denied SSDI and SSI benefits is because they often lack sufficient documentation of their medical disabilities. In order to prevent fraudulent claims from going through, the Social Security Administration requires thorough proof not just of your disability, but of the fact that your disability prevents you from performing gainful work activities.

It's important to know what type of medical evidence you'll need when filing your disability claim. Fortunately, the SSA will work with individuals to gain medical evidence from clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities in order to complete a successful claim.

You Earned Too Much Income

Another common reason for being denied SSDI and SSI benefits is having a monthly income that exceeds the SSA's established limits. These limits, better known as the Substantial Gainful Activity allowance threshold, exist to insure that only those with actual disabilities and medical conditions that prevent them from having gainful employment are able to benefit. Not only does the SGA consider wages and self-employment earnings, but also non-cash payments such as room and board in exchange for services.

The current SGA allowance threshold for 2017 is $1,170 for non-blind recipients and $1,950 for blind individuals. The SGA allowance threshold for blind individuals applies only for SSDI, while non-blind individuals are subject to the threshold for both SSDI and SSI benefits.

 You Filed a New Claim Instead of Appealing Your Denied Claim

The SSA prefers that applicants who are initially denied benefits to file for an appeal instead of filing another application. In most cases, you'll stand a better chance of having your denial overturned upon reconsideration of your original application. Filing a second, separate claim instead of appealing the initial claim could result in both claims being denied, so it's usually better to go through the appeals process.

You're Currently Incarcerated

Being behind bars won't necessarily worsen your approval odds for SSDI or SSI benefits, but you wouldn't be able to receive them while you're locked up. Not only that, but any application based on injuries or medical conditions caused while committing a felony crime will most likely be denied.

On the other hand, you'll be able to receive your SSDI or SSI benefits once you leave prison. You can also receive your benefits while you're on probation or parole. If you violate the terms of your release, however, you won't be eligible for benefits for the month the violation occurred.

Your Medical Condition Doesn't Last Long Enough or Isn't Severe Enough

To qualify for SSDI or SSI, your medical condition has to be serious enough to prevent you from working for at least one year or longer. If your condition has a positive prognosis that will likely have you back in good health in under a year, then you won't have much chance of your application going through.

Your medical condition also has to be severe enough to prevent you from doing any and all work activity. Since SSDI and SSI are intended for those who are completely unable to work and subsequently care for themselves, the SSA requires candidates for SSDI or SSI benefits to be unable to perform any substantial or gainful work activity.