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The reasons your Social Security disability benefits were denied

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More than a decade from retirement, you suddenly suffer a serious medical situation that likely prevents you from working for a long time and maybe even for the rest of your life. Your situation represents a prime example of when a person should seek Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

You complete the steps in filing for SSD benefits and wait for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide an answer. However, the response you get is unexpected. Rejection. But why? The government’s criteria seem inconsistent. It is clear that you cannot work.

Ability to do other work; impairment not severe

While frustration mounts, you should know that there are several reasons for the government’s decision. And you are not the only person to experience this situation. The SSA reported that between 2009 and 2018, roughly two-thirds of the people who applied for SSD benefits were rejected.

According to the SSA’s Annual Statistical Report — released in October, the SSD benefits applications for almost 500,000 workers were denied in 2018. The number represents the fewest denials since 2001 with nearly 475,000. It also marked a 14% decrease from 2017, which recorded 581,000 rejections.

Below are the primary reasons why SSD benefits applications were denied in 2018:

  • The person could perform another type of work: 40%
  • The person’s impairment was not considered severe: 24.2%
  • The applicant could perform the usual previous work: 9.3%
  • The person’s ailment would not last 12 months: 4.6%

The rest of the denials, which comprised 21.9%, were many different reasons. They included that the impairment was due to alcohol or drug addiction; the person provided inadequate medical proof; the person failed to follow the recommended and prescribed medical treatment; the person chose to no longer pursue the claim; and the person returned to work prior to confirmation of the disability.

If denied SSD benefits, please appeal your case. Dig your heels in and expect a lengthy wait because the SSA is not known for its punctuality when it comes to decision-making. You deserve these benefits.