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Why Do Most People Get Denied Social Security Disability?


Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be a daunting and complex process, and unfortunately, a significant number of applicants find their claims denied. According to, out of the two million individuals who apply for disability benefits each year, 62% of these applicants are denied.

Understanding the reasons behind these denials can not only help potential applicants prepare stronger claims but also make the process less frustrating for all involved. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common reasons why Social Security Disability claims are denied and offer tips on how to avoid these pitfalls.

Why Would Social Security Disability Be Denied?

Incomplete or Incorrect Information

One of the most common reasons for Social Security Disability claim denial is incomplete or incorrect information provided in the application. The Social Security Administration (SSA) needs accurate and detailed medical, financial, and employment information to determine your eligibility for benefits.

To boost your chances of approval:

  • Verify all personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth, and contact details.
  • Ensure that your medical records are thorough and up-to-date, including all relevant diagnoses, treatments, and medications.
  • Correctly report your work history, including dates, job duties, and length of employment.

Insufficient Medical Evidence

The SSA requires substantial medical evidence to support your claim that you have a qualifying disability. One of the primary reasons for denial is a lack of sufficient medical documentation.

To avoid insufficient medical evidence:

  • Contact all relevant medical providers and request copies of your records.
  • Ensure that your doctors have thorough knowledge of your condition and can provide detailed information on your limitations.
  • Discuss your intention to apply for Social Security Disability with your healthcare providers and seek their support.

Partial Disability or Short-Term Conditions

To qualify for Social Security Disability, your disability must be considered severe and expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. If the SSA determines that your condition is not severe enough or is only short-term, your application may be denied.

To strengthen your claim:

  • Provide detailed information on how your disability affects your ability to perform daily activities and work.
  • Obtain all necessary documentation on the long-term prognosis of your condition.
  • Consider seeking legal assistance to better advocate for your claim.

Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment

If you fail to follow prescribed treatment for your condition, the SSA may deem you ineligible for benefits, as they cannot accurately assess the severity of your disability.

To avoid this issue:

  • Adhere to your doctor's recommendations for medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
  • Keep records of your treatment plan and progress.
  • If you are unable to follow prescribed treatment for valid reasons, discuss them with your healthcare provider and document them in your application.

Inability to Cooperate or Incomplete Application

If the SSA believes you are not cooperating with their requests for additional information or sees your application as incomplete, your claim may be denied.

To prevent this from happening:

  • Respond promptly to all requests for additional information or documentation.
  • Ensure that all required forms are entirely and accurately filled out.

What to Do if You Were Denied Social Security Disability

If you were denied Social Security Disability, you'll want to take the following steps:

  1. Review: When you receive your denial letter, be sure to carefully go over it to understand why the claim was denied.
  2. Act quickly: You have 60 days to send off your appeal before your case is dismissed.
  3. Find support: Consult with your doctor to see if you can include an official document stating your need for Social Security Disability. In addition, if you have new evidence or information, consider submitting this with your appeal as well.
  4. Get legal help: Contact a Social Security Disability attorney for help in filing an appeal.

Learning more about the factors that lead to denials of Social Security Disability claims can help you strengthen your application and improve your chances of approval. Whether you're preparing to apply for Social Security Disability or have already encountered a denial, we encourage you to reach out to our team of experienced Social Security Disability attorneys at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC. We have years of experience helping clients with their applications and appeals and can be here to provide the guidance and support you need through this process.

Call (937) 403-9033 or fill out our form to get in touch with us.