Applying for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be a tedious process. Filing a claim can be even more frustrating when you're turned down. Nearly two-thirds of all initial Social Security disability claims are denied. When a claim is denied, it becomes a complicated legal appeal process. Here is an overview, of the critical technical reasons for the denial of a Social Security disability claim.
SSDI vs. SSI
Understanding the differences between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income is essential. The ramifications of a technical denial are quite similar, but the requirements to be eligible are not. SSDI applicants need to have paid into the Social Security system. There are work-time and income stipulations to regulate who is eligible.
When you have not been able to meet these requirements, you may fall under the category of SSI benefits. Knowing the differences and filing accordingly is critical. If you have any questions about these differences, you should immediately schedule a consultation with a Social Security attorney.
Technical denials of social security disability claims commonly deal with numbers, or accounting. Since many of these cannot be appealed, it is further confirmation that you should use the services of an attorney from the outset. One reason for a technical denial is for filing under the wrong program. If someone is eligible for SSI benefits, but files a SSDI claim, it will be technically denied.
- Substantial Gainful Activity - One immediate reason for a technical denial is if you make too much money. The SSA refers to this as substantial gainful activity. When you show an income over the specified amount per month, the Social Security Administration feels you do not meet the criteria for being disabled.
- Previous Work History – To be eligible for Social Security disability, you need to have worked for a minimum number of years, predicated by your age. These numbers can be difficult to accurately calculate and an error can mean a denial. There are mitigating circumstances that can also affect the minimal work requirement, legal guidelines that should be reviewed by an attorney before you file.
- Recent Work History – Another related reason for a denial of Social Security Disability concerns how recently you have worked. There are time guidelines related to when you stopped working. If you disability timeline contradicts the point where your payment into the Social Security system ended, your claim can be technically denied. This can be even more confusing than your previous work history, but likewise can generate a claim denial by the SSA.
The slightest technical error can be grounds for denial, so you should have all your paperwork reviewed and submitted by a knowledgeable social security disability lawyer. While the approval rate of appeals is better, a second denial will force the claim into federal court. Putting your case in the hands of a knowledgeable attorney immediately improves your chances of initial approval, and they will ready to file an appeal swiftly, if your case is denied the first time.