Why Were My Social Security Disability Benefits Denied? Top 3 Reasons

Disability insurance can give you a source of much needed income if you’re too injured or sick to work. That’s if it pays out. All too often, Social Security disability insurance claims are denied, for a variety of reasons. This can be a disheartening experience, but it’s important to know that a denial is not the end of the process.

It is possible to appeal a denial of your disability benefits, but the first step in the appeals process is figuring out why your claim was denied in the first place. Here are three of the most common reasons Social Security disability benefits are denied:

1. Paperwork Issues

Filing a Social Security disability claim can mean mounds of paperwork and reams of instructions. And the majority of the initial denials of disability claims are based on missing or incomplete paperwork. Make sure you not only have the necessary forms filled out completely, but that you also collected all the necessary supporting documents, like medical records and treatment notes. Social Security staff are very particular about having forms filled out correctly, so don’t be sloppy filling out the forms and make sure they aren’t missing any vital or required information.

(And don’t lie on your claim forms. Filing a false claim can be a crime, and you could be charged with insurance fraud or making false statements to the government.)

2. Procedural Issues

Every legal process has time limits, and Social Security disability claims are no different. While there is no hard deadline for when disability claims must be filed, there are limits to how long benefits are paid and the amount. So don’t wait to long to file your claim.

Also, the paperwork may not be the entire process. You may also need to release medical records, answer questions from the SSA, attend hearings or medical examinations, or otherwise cooperate with the agency. Any failure to do so could mean your benefits will be denied.

3. Medical Issues

We already warned you not to lie about your medical condition, but that might not be the only medical reason your Social Security disability benefits will be denied. In some cases the SSA may disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis, and you may need a second opinion.

But the big one is following through on any treatment prescribed by a physician. If you fail to attend treatment sessions or physical therapy, or refuse to take prescribed medication for your condition, your claim may be denied.

As we noted above, it is possible to appeal the denial of Social Security disability benefits. If you want to appeal your disability claim denial, you might want the help of an experienced disability attorney.

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