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Why did your application for SSD benefits get denied?

According to certain statistics, up to 66 percent of applicants for Social Security Disability benefits end up denied. Other estimates even rank it as high as 2 out of every 3 applicants see a denial.

However, in many cases, people can successfully appeal this decision and may get their SSD benefits granted through the appeal instead.

Average rate of rejection

The Social Security Administration’s most recent report details denial of applications for benefits. In the most recent year tracked, 2018, up to 500,000 workers had their applications denied. This was actually the lowest number of rejections within the 10-year period documented by the SSA. By comparison, 2011 saw 837,000 rejections instead.

Common reasons for rejection

In 2018, several reasons for denial of benefits continued to come up over and over again. This includes the medical ailment not being severe enough, the individual having the ability to perform other work duties, the applicant still having the ability to perform their own work duties, and the medical impairment not lasting a year.

Up to 22 percent of the remaining denials happened for various reasons. For example, if the ailment resulted from addiction to drugs or alcohol, the application was often denied. Denials also occurred for applicants refusing to cooperate, failing to provide sufficient medical evidence, failing to follow medically ascribed treatment, or a person returning to work before the disability got confirmed. Some people also withdrew their claims.

Appeals typically work in the favor of the applicant, however. This is why perseverance is a crucial component of the application process. Even after a denial, try again and the outcome may look better.


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