You've worked hard. You've paid into Social Security. But now you're injured and you need benefits. What do you do if your application is denied? The first thing you need to realize is that most Social Security Disability applications are denied — you have likely done nothing wrong and you are in fact part of the majority.
You must also realize that the Social Security Administration only pays benefits to individuals who are totally disabled — partial or short-term disabilities are not covered. If the SSA determines that you do not meet their strict definition of disabled, your benefits may be denied.
In fact, one of the major hurdles SSD applicants must overcome to obtain benefits is to prove that they meet the SSA's definition of disabled.
The following list contains some of the most common reasons applicants are denied:
- You earn more than $1,040 per month (this amount changes annually)
- Your condition will not last a year or more or will not result in your death
- The Social Security Administration is unable to locate you
- You failed to provide the SSA with enough information
- You failed to follow the prescribed treatment set forth by your doctor
Additionally, your condition must prevent you from doing the work you once performed, and the SSA must determine that your injury or disability prevents you from adjusting to other work.
A denial can be based on something as simple as not properly filling out the complex application paperwork. A knowledgeable attorney can provide the guidance you need when applying for SSD or appealing a denial.