If you recently received a notification of denial for your Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, application you are likely disappointed and concerned. If you applied for SSDI it is because you are unable to work and, therefore, unable to earn a living. The benefits you would receive from SSDI are likely needed to support yourself and your family if you have one. Although it may be discouraging to find a denial letter in your mailbox the good news is that you have a right to appeal the denial. First, however, you need to figure out why your application for SSDI benefits was denied.
Because each application for SSDI benefits includes a unique set of facts and circumstances it is best to have an experienced SSDI attorney review your application and provide you with an opinion as to why the application was denied. In the meantime, however, it may be useful to know some of the common reasons why SSDI applications are denied.
- Incomplete application – the application process for SSDI is lengthy and often confusing. If your application was missing even a single document when submitted it will be denied. A significant percentage of applications are denied every year because the application was incomplete. For this reason alone it is best to consult with an SSDI attorney before you apply.
- Failure to follow-up/inability to communicate – as a general rule, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, will attempt to communicate with you if your application is missing something or if additional information is needed to review your application. Failing to follow-up with the status of your application, or failing to provide requested information, can cause a denial.
- Earnings are too high – even if you clearly meet the SSA definition of disabled, if you are still able to earn more than $1,070 per month (as of 2014) your application will be denied because of the “unable to perform substantial gainful activity” requirement.
- Disability not confirmed – your disability must have lasted, or be likely to last, a year or more. If the SSA does not believe your disability will last that long based on the records they have, your application will be denied.
The average applicant has no idea what the SSA is looking for when reviewing an application for SSDI. Unfortunately, this often leads to a denial. The best way to avoid an initial denial is to consult with an experienced Michigan SSDI attorney prior to beginning your application. If, however, your application has been already been denied you have a right to appeal the denial.
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