Common Reasons Why SSDI Applications Are Denied
We all need all need a source of income to be able to get by in the world. If you’re dealing with an illness, injury, or disability that makes it impossible for you to work, one option to help get the money you need to cover your day-to-day expenses is by applying for SSDI benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Applying for SSDI benefits can be extremely overwhelming and confusing. The Social Security Administration has very strict rules regarding things like how much income you currently have coming in each month, what your disability/illness/injury is, and how long you are expected to be unable to work. The rules for applying for SSDI benefits are so strict that out of the millions of people who apply every year, about 70% of applicants are denied on their first attempt. Here are some of the most common reasons why people are denied SSDI benefits:
They Earn Too Much Income
One of the strictest requirements SSDI applicants have to meet is the amount of income they receive each month. If you earn over a certain amount, the SSA believes you are still capable of performing substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2016, that amount is $1,130 for individuals who are not legally blind and $1,820 for those who are blind.
Only income that requires an active effort on your part to earn, such as from a job, counts toward your SGA allowance. If you have income coming in through investments, that is considered passive income and doesn’t count toward your SGA allowance since earning that income doesn’t involve any amount of physical labor on your part. If your application has been denied because of your income, consider talking to an attorney because some parts of your income might be able to be deducted.
Their Ailment Isn’t Expected to Last Long Enough
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, an applicant’s ailment needs to be expected to last for a minimum of 12 months or is expected to result in death. As such, many common types of injuries such as broken bones do not qualify for SSDI benefits since the SSA doesn’t consider them to be severe enough since they will most likely heal under a year. However, if you have an injury that ends up taking longer than usual to heal and recover from, there’s a chance you might be able to receive SSDI benefits. Applicants who are legally blind do not have to meet this length requirement.
The SSA Can’t Contact You
In some cases, SSDI applications are denied for the simple reason that they can’t get in touch with the applicant. Once you submit your application, the people reviewing it will need to contact you to ask questions, discuss your case, or set up appointments. If they’re unable to reach you or the person representing your case, such as a spouse with power of attorney, your claim may be denied. If you move or your other contact information changes before your SSDI application has been approved, make sure you contact the SSA to let them know how to reach you.
They Believe You Aren’t Cooperating
When you’re in the process of applying for SSDI benefits, you’ll be expected to cooperate with your doctor’s orders and with requests from the SSA. In some cases, the SSA might require you to undergo medical exams or ask you to release your medical records to them. If you don’t comply with these sorts of requests, there’s a very good chance your application will be denied because they aren’t able to fully evaluate all aspects of your case.
Many people who do qualify for SSDI benefits are denied. If you’ve applied for SSDI benefits and been denied, you still have options. Appealing your application can be difficult, but an experienced SSDI attorney may be able to help you get the benefits you need and deserve.