Indeed, petitioning for Social Security disability benefits can be a long and arduous process.  It is well chronicled that more than half of all initial petitions are denied. Making matters worse, applicants with documented injuries and debilitating conditions may be initially denied. Even more troubling, the backlog of reconsideration cases continues to grow.  

Because of this, knowing the specifics of your initial denial is critical. It is almost as important as preparing your case for a reconsideration hearing. With that, this post will explore some of the most common denial factors. 

Earning too much through regular wages – Depending on the substantial gainful activity level (SGA) applied to you based on previous Social Security contributions, your regular wages may exempt you from assistance.

The length of your disability is not long enough – An essential part of a successful disability benefits application is proving that your disability will last for at least 12 months or more. Those suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD or schizophrenia may have more difficulty proving this if less than one year of records are available.

The disability you claim is improper – In the same vein of some mental illnesses, disability claims based on alcohol abuse or drug addiction are not commonly viewed as continuing impairments that will last 12 months or more. Substance addictions are not considered impairments that prevent one from maintaining employment. As such, the Social Security Administration is not likely to approve benefits for this problem.  

If you have additional questions about why your Social Security disability application was denied, contact an experienced attorney