5 Reasons You Can Be Denied Social Security Disability Benefits

Back to Articles

Posted by Corey Luedeman

Every year, millions of Americans are denied Social Security Disability benefits.  You may have recently had your initial application denied.  Below are 5 common reasons that you can be denied disability benefits:

1.      You make too much money or have too much money to receive disability benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program.  That means there are strict limits on how much income and assets you can have.  In general, if you have more than $2000 in assets if you’re single (or $3000 if you’re married), then you will likely not qualify for SSI benefits.

If you are still working while applying for Social Security and you make more than $1260 a month (pre-tax), you probably earn too much money to qualify for benefits.

2.      You didn’t work long enough or recently enough to qualify for Social Security Disability.

How much and how recently you have worked only matters if you’re applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  The law says you can only get SSDI benefits if you have paid enough money into the system while you were working and if some of that work has been performed relatively recently.  This is translated into work credits that the Social Security Administration uses to figure out if you’re qualified for SSDI benefits.

Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Have I worked a total of 10 full years in my lifetime?
  2. Have I worked within the last 5 years prior to becoming disabled?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you may not have enough work credits to receive SSDI benefits.

3.      You’re not disabled according to the Social Security Administration.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has their own definition of being disabled. It may be different than how you or your doctor defines “disabled.”  For example, you can have a very serious medical condition that limits your lifestyle and still not be considered “disabled” by Social Security.

When the SSA says you must be “disabled” to get benefits, they are saying you must have a severe medical impairment that prevents you from doing the type of work you used to do AND prevents you from being able to perform a new type of job.  Even if you can’t do the work you used to do, if there is a less demanding or strenuous job the SSA believes you can do, they will say you are not disabled and deny your claim.

4.      Social Security doesn’t have enough medical evidence that you’re disabled.

Medical records are the main proof that SSA uses to determine if you’re disabled.  If you do not go to the doctor on a regular basis, there won’t be enough medical records of your condition to prove you’re disabled. That’s why it’s important for to see your doctor regularly for your conditions and follow any advice that they give you.  This includes taking any medication your doctor prescribes and following medical advice.

Another reason that you may have been denied is that you have not provided the SSA with information on where to find your medical records on your initial application.

5.      You’re not communicating with the Social Security Administration.

The SSA may need to ask you questions about your initial application if something is unclear.  If your medical records are incomplete, you may be asked to attend a “consultative exam.”  This exam is done by a doctor of the SSA’s choosing.  Tests will be done depending on your conditions and what the SSA needs to know.

If you fail to attend the consultative exam or do not answer Social Security’s questions promptly and completely, they will likely deny your claim.

If you have been denied disability benefits, don’t give up.  Our office has experienced Iowa Social Security Disability attorneys ready to help you.  Call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.

Looking for Iowa Legal Help?

Find out how to get treated fairly after an injury or disability in Iowa

For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call us at (319) 409-6575
or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to reach us online