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Why Some Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Apr 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Why Some Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied

Millions of people apply for Social Security disability benefits on an annual basis but out of those millions, only a small percentage actually receives benefits. The majority of applications are denied at the first stage of the claims process. Here are some common reasons why Social Security disability claims fail. You're Receiving Unemployment Benefits If you're receiving unemployment benefits, you're unlikely to be granted Social Security disability benefits because unemployment benefits are provided to individuals who are ready, willing, and able to work – not to individuals who have disabilities that interfere with their ability to work. You Won't Be Disabled for More Than 12 Months If your disability won't last more than 12 months, your claim for Social Security disability benefits will be denied. Your disability has to prevent you from working for 12 months or more if you want to be granted disability benefits. There's a Lack of Medical Evidence Many Social Security disability claims are denied because of a lack of medical evidence. If you want to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, there needs to be medical evidence that your disability has interfered with your ability to work. So, make sure that your doctor documents how your disability impacts your ability to work. Your Income Exceeds the Substantial Gainful Activity Amount It's acceptable to continue working part-time and earning money when you apply for Social Security benefits, but you won't qualify for benefits if your income exceeds the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount. The monthly SGA amount for 2012 is $1690 for blind individuals and $1010 for non-blind individuals. You're Under 50 Years of Age Age also impacts the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) disability determinations. If you're under 50 years of age, you're considered a younger individual, and it's more difficult to get Social Security disability benefits. The SSA is more likely to grant individuals over the age of 50 a favorable decision because it considers various factors, like exertional requirements and the transferability of skills from previous employment. Because of age discrimination and the difficulty of vocational adjustment for older people, claimants over the age of 50 tend to be more successful in obtaining disability benefits. You've Been Convicted of a Crime If you were injured while committing a felony and were convicted of the crime, the impairment suffered or the worsening of an existing impairment cannot be used as a basis for applying for Social Security disability benefits. The same holds true if you were injured while in prison, although it may be possible to receive benefits once you get out of prison. Your Disability Is Related to Substance Abuse and Addiction If drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor to your disability, you will be denied Social Security disability benefits. When reviewing your claim, the SSA will evaluate whether you would still be disabled if you stopped using drugs or alcohol. Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Georgia? The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits can be long and difficult. Increase your chances of winning benefits by having your application reviewed by Georgia Social Security disability lawyer Louis B. Lusk. To schedule a free consultation, (800) 883-7043 or fill out our online contact form.

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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If you have been turned down for Social Security disability call me at 1 (800) 407-1516. I look forward to hearing from you.