Why are most Social Security disability claims denied?

by Jul 3, 2015

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If you’ve looked into the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits, then you probably know that most applications are denied. The Social Security Administration has reported that between 2003 and 2012 denials averaged 59 percent.

A denial is not necessarily the end of the process, however, so don’t give up hope. Here let’s look at why so many disability claims are denied and what options you have after an initial or second denial of benefits.

Unfortunately, more than half of denials are due to technical errors in documentation and insufficient medical evidence. If you are applying for SSDI benefits, then be sure to work with a disability law attorney who can gather and organize all of the necessary documentation and present it in an effective way. Too often, simple mistakes result in denials.

Also, don’t wait to get medical treatment. You will need documentation of your treatment to prove that a disability actually exists.

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must also have an employment record, and your impairment must be expected to last at least a year. Additionally, your disability must be severe enough that it prevents you from doing your usual sort of work, as well as a different kind of work.

In some cases, an individual will try returning to work before the disability is proven, or an individual will not follow a doctor’s prescribed medical treatment, and these situations can also result in denial of benefits.

If your disability claim is denied, then you can begin the appeals process, which starts with a reconsideration of your claim. If your claim is denied a second time, then you can take your claim before an administrative law judge. At all of these points in the process, it is important to have the help of a disability law attorney.

Don’t let an error or insufficient evidence stand between you and the benefits you need. For more on appealing an SSDI denial in Tennessee, please see our appeals process overview.