Why Is Social Security So Hard to Be Approved? 

Did you know that out of the millions who apply for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) each year only 30% are approved? Why are so many denied? Why is it so hard to get SSDI? We are going to look at several reasons for this, and help you enjoy the best results if you find you must apply for SSDI any time soon. 

Why Are Claimants Denied? 

There are many reasons for a denial of SSDI, but five stand out as the most common. They are: 

1. Lack of medical evidence 

Hard medical evidence is necessary before a claim is approved. This means that any claimant has to have a lot of verifiable and accurate documentation of their disability, AND that it interferes with someone’s ability to work. While the SSA may send someone for a mental examination, they do not send claimants for physical exams, so it is up to the claimant to have the hard evidence in the form of organized medical records. 

2. Previous denial 

If someone has applied in the past and is trying again, it is likely that a denial will be issued. It is much better to appeal a denial than to try a new claim. 

3. Failure to follow treatment 

If a doctor has prescribed treatment for a claimant’s condition and they fail to follow it, the SSA is likely to issue a denial. This is because there is no ability to prove that the disability or condition is the cause of an inability to work. 

4. Failure to cooperate 

If you refuse to submit information when requested or to cooperate with the SSA during the evaluation process, it is likely that you will be denied. 

5. Income  

If you are working and earning, a claim may be denied because SSDI is only for those who cannot work because of their disability. 

Getting Approved 

The issues above are not the only reasons for a denial, but the list does demonstrate how challenging it may be to be approved. The SSA uses a five-step process to determine disability and evaluates more than those points just identified. The five steps include: 

  • Work history evaluation – Is the claimant working? If you a making more money over a certain amount, you are going to be denied. 
  • Level of impairment – The SSA requires the impairment to interfere with basic work activities, and if it is not severe enough, the application is denied. 
  • Official impairment – The SSA maintains a formal list of qualifying impairments. Some automatically qualify a claimant because of their severity, others may not be severe enough to allow for qualification. 
  • Work capability – Will a claimant be able to return to work they have previously done? If not, the claim moves forward. 
  • Future work? – If there is any sort of work that a claimant may be able to do in the future, they are going to be denied. If not, they are deemed disabled and receive benefits. 

If you want some support in preparing for the filing of an SSDI claim, a lawyer is a great resource. They can file appeals, help you make your initial claim, and more. Get in touch with the experts at the Disability Help Center if you need support.