17 Jan Top 3 Reasons People Get Denied Social Security Disability
Recent figures from the Social Security Administration suggest that over 65 million people received some form of social security benefit in 2015. This number includes children, retirees, and disabled adults. In fact, 5.4 million individuals were newly awarded that year. While this may seem like a big number, it’s important to note that about 65 percent of all claimants are denied the first time they apply. For disabled South Carolinians who are trying to get their disability claims approved, here are a few of the biggest reasons why people are denied social security disability benefits.
Probably one of the biggest reasons people are denied social security benefits is that they do not meet the basic technical requirements for social security. To understand this better, we first have to look at the underlying requirements for social security. There are two basic requirements:
Substantial Gainful Activity
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefit that helps those who become disabled and can no longer maintain substantial gainful activity (SGA). This is a legal term that means the worker has a disability (or combination of disabilities) that makes it unlikely he or she will be able to earn a living. If you earn more than the current threshold, SSA will deny your application. For 2018, it is $1,970 for blind persons and $1,180 for all others. Even if you are not working, the standard is whether you are capable of earning this much through regular employment.
In order to qualify for SSDI, a worker must have paid into the system long enough to meet the credit requirement. For those born after 1929, at least 20 of the credits must have been earned within the 10 years directly preceding disability. It’s a fairly complicated system, so having a skilled social security attorney can help you review your situation to make sure you even qualify, before you waste time on an application that cannot be approved.
So, if you have not worked long enough or paid into the system enough, you will likely be denied. Likewise, if you still earn money or can meet the SGA requirement, you will be denied.
Medical Evidence Subjective Or Not Supportive Of Disability
It can be disheartening for a disabled worker to realize they are being denied because their medical records do not show objective proof of disability. However, keep in mind that when proving your case to the SSA, the burden is on the person making the claim to prove that the disability prevents them from working. Even if it seems extremely obvious to everyone around you, SSA may deny your claim if the medical evidence does not clearly and strongly support your claim. This is where having an attorney on your side can make all the difference. It’s important to work with your doctor to understand your condition and make sure that your medical records say what they should.
Too Many Assets (For SSI)
Unlike SSDI, there is an asset test for supplemental security income (SSI). This benefit is based on need, not just disability. Even someone who has not paid into the system can potentially qualify for SSI, but the government will want to make sure you do not exceed $2,000 in cash assets ($3,000 for a couple). You may keep a car and home and there are certainly other exceptions, but in general SSA has a pretty low limit to the amount of available assets you can have and still receive SSI.
Getting Approved the First Time
No attorney can guarantee that your application will be approved. And like an initial application, appeals can also be challenging. But typically, people do better when they can rely on the experience of an attorney who understands the Social Security Administration and its often bizarre rules and deadlines.
Throughout South Carolina, Klok Disability Law, LLC takes pride in helping disabled workers get the benefits they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney.