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Why do Social Security claims get denied?

Talk to any Social Security disability attorney, and he or she will tell you that it's very common for the Social Security Administration to turn you down. However, the attorney will also tell you that just because your claim was denied does not mean you can't qualify.

In fact, it's because of numerous denials of benefits that Social Security lawyers stay in business. It's not uncommon for disability applicants to get a green light for their cases after sending in appeals for reconsideration.

The primary reasons why Social Security applications get denied

Most Social Security disability benefit claims get denied for the following reasons:

  • Not severe enough: The claimant's disability wasn't bad enough or it will not last at least 12 months and/or result in death. This reason to deny benefits could be valid in some cases. In other cases, the claimant will need to submit additional evidence that proves the severity of his or her disability.
  • Can still do his or her job or another kind of job: In these cases, a more detailed opinion from a qualified doctor could be required to show evidence that the individual is indeed severely disabled and unable to perform job duties.
  • The disability was caused by alcohol or drugs: Depending on the evidence that the SSD administration is using, claimants may be able to challenge this reason for a denial of benefits.
  • Not enough medical evidence: Sometimes all that is required is to submit a little more medical documentation.
  • Failed to adhere to treatments: It's important for claimants to adhere to their doctors' instructions and to try and treat and overcome the medical conditions that are causing their disabilities.
  • The claimant has gone back to work: If an applicant is disabled, then he or she should not be able to work. The Social Security Administration will usually interpret going back to work as proof that the individual wasn't disabled.

Do you need to qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

Claimants need to remember that denials of Social Security disability benefits are not only common, they are the norm, and they certainly not the end of the world. Keep the faith. Apply for a reconsideration and appeal when necessary. Most importantly, don't give up until you get the full amount of benefits to which you're entitled.

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