Common Reasons Social Security Applications Get Denied
When you are injured or become ill and are unable to work, you count on the SSA to come through with the benefits you have earned through years of work. However, you must meet their criteria for qualification and follow their instructions for applying. Only 30 percent of initial SSDI applications are approved and, considering that it can take up to three months for a decision on your initial applicationand much longer if you need to appeal, it is important that you get your application right the first time. Reasons people are often denied benefits include the following:
The Disability Application Process
Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:
- You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
- You complete and submit your application.
- We review your application to make sure you meet some for disability benefits.
- We check whether you worked enough years to qualify.
- We evaluate any current work activities.
- We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
- This State agency makes the disability determination decision.
To learn more about who decides if you are disabled, read our publication .
Once You’ve Applied
Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed
Look For Our Response
Youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.
Check The Status
You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Appeal A Decision
Pay Attention To Financial Qualifications
While the basic rule for Social Security disability is defined as a condition that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months, that should not necessarily determine when you apply for benefits.
“If an individual is not working and earning income, then they’re allowed to apply now,” Geist said. “There’s not a set period of time where they have to wait to apply.”
However, there are certain financial restrictions that claimants will have to meet to be approved.
For starters, you must have paid so-called FICA taxes into the system. Generally, you have to contribute for at least 10 years in order to be eligible.
Additionally, your condition must meet Social Security’s definition of a disability. It must be so severe that you can no longer work. It must also be expected to last for at least a year or result in death.
In addition, your income must fall below certain a certain threshold known as substantial gainful activity. In 2021, that limit is $1,310 per month for non-blind individuals.
Those who have not paid FICA taxes may instead qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. However, those benefits are means tested and come with strict asset limits of $2,000 per individual, or $3,000 per married couple.
While some disabled workers may be tempted to take advantage of expanded pandemic unemployment insurance benefits that are still available in some states, that could hurt your chances of getting approved for disability benefits, Geist said.
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Additional Information That May Impact Your Benefits Eligibility
The SSA outlines some of the requirements to apply for benefits under SSDI and SSI. They include:
- Having a condition that has prevented you from working for at least one year
- Being at least 18 years of age
Beyond these basic requirements, the SSA will request several types of information as part of your application. Your answers to these questions and your ability to provide various forms of documentation may directly impact your eligibility for benefits. Some questions on the Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application may ask about:
- The age you were at the time that you became disabled
- How many years you participated in the workforce before becoming disabled
- The nature and severity of the medical condition that causes you to be disabled
- Your marital status
- Whether you have any dependents
- Whether you can complete any type of work to earn an income
- Your education and work history
Your ability to provide thorough documentation about the nature of your medical condition and the date of the conditions onset is essential in determining your eligibility for benefits through SSDI and SSI.
Social Security Disability Insurance
The Social Security disability insurance program pays benefits to individuals and certain family members if you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. Your adult child also may qualify for benefits on your earnings record if he or she has a disability that started before age 22.
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If Your Application Is Denied
After we review your application and the information you provided, we may decide you do not meet the qualifications for disability benefits.
If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to ask us to look at your application again. The notice you receive from us that says you don’t qualify will explain how to appeal our decision and the time period in which you must make the request.
If we decide you don’t qualify:
Because you are not disabled under our rules, you can appeal our decision online.
The online disability report will ask you for updated information about your medical condition and any treatment, tests, or doctor visits since we made our decision.
Social Security Disability Insurance For People With Cancer
Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal disability insurance benefit earned by people who have worked and paid into Social Security. Its only available to people who have disabilities that keep them from working. If you have cancer, you may be able to have your SSDI application processed more quickly
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Check Back For Updates To This Page
For the latest updates on coronavirus tax relief related to this page, check IRS.gov/coronavirus. Were reviewing the tax provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11, 2021.
Find out if your and the qualify as earned income for the Earned Income Tax Credit .
Find out how you can if the person has a total and permanent disability.
If you’re unsure if you qualify for the EITC, use the EITC Qualification Assistant.
Applying For Disability Benefits Can Be A Challenging Process
According to the SSA, many applicants for disability benefits have had their initial application denied for various reasons, including:
- Technical problems with an application
- Disqualification based on medical information
Between 2001 and 2010, the SSA approved only about 45 percent of disability claims. This suggests that applying for disability benefits is not a straightforward process for many applicants. SSDI or SSI application errors are possible, if not likely.
You have the right to seek help from a third party to help you with applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can review your application, saving you time and helping you avoid errors that could delay your claim.
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How The Eitc Affects Other Government Benefits
If you apply for or get benefits or assistance using a program that uses federal funds, the refund you get when you claim the EITC does not count as income. It cant be counted as income for at least 12 months after you get it.
To find out if this rule applies to your benefits, check with your benefit coordinator.
We Will Make Sure Your Disability Benefits Application Is Error
If you hire one of our attorneys for tasks related to your SSDI or SSI application, we will ensure your application is accurate and manage the appeals process as necessary. At our firm, we handle all aspects of your claim, from filing your claim to the appeals process, so that you can focus on your health and well-being.
We will help you understand the SSAs designated conditions and related medical requirements and your status regarding those. If you need further medical evaluation to establish your disability, we can advise you if that is the case.
Complete a Case Evaluation form now
If Approved When Will I Get My First Ssdi Payment
Six months from your SSDI application date is the soonest anyone can get their first payment. The SSA typically takes 3-5 months to review every SSDI application. Theres also a five-month mandatory waiting period for every approved claim. These two issues make it impossible to get Indiana disability benefits sooner than six months after you apply. Unfortunately, most people wait closer to two years to receive their first Indiana disability check. Having a lawyer file your claim doubles your chances for approval the first time you apply. Plus, an attorney cannot charge you anything for help until after the SSA approves your Indiana disability claim. Right now, SSDI applications for Indiana disability benefits take 363 days to process from start to finish.
If you decide to apply on your own without a lawyer, youll almost certainly get denied benefits. Thats because the SSA currently rejects 4 in every 5 first-time applications. If that happens, you have 60 days to file an appeal in writing. Reconsideration is the first step in the appeals process, and it takes about 100 days . Only 2% of people receive Indiana disability benefits during reconsideration.
Health Coverage For People With Disabilities
If you have a disability, you have three options for health coverage through the government.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to people with disabilities. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.
Medicare provides medical health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease . Learn about eligibility, how to apply and coverage.
Affordable Care Act Marketplace offers options to people who have a disability, dont qualify for disability benefits, and need health coverage. Learn about the .
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How Do I Check The Status Of My Application
As discussed above, the Indiana DDB reviews all initial applications and makes a decision regarding benefits, based on your medical records. After your application is filed with your local SSA office, you should direct all questions to DDB. Below is the contact information for DDB.
Indiana Disability Determination Bureau
Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is disability defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?
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What Conditions Automatically Qualify You For Disability
There are no conditions that automatically qualify you for disability benefits. However, the Social Security Administration s Blue Book lists conditions it will consider for review for people applying for disability benefits. Among them are:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Special senses and speech
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system disorders
- Digestive system disorders
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Immune system disorders
The SSAs Listing of Impairments Adult Listings contains all these conditions, which apply to adults aged 18 and older. The SSA has identified conditions in these categories to be severe because of how they limit a persons functioning.
If you or a loved one is living with a disability, you could be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. A Social Security Disability lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can review your case to determine if your condition qualify for disability payments.
Permanent And Total Disability
A person has a permanent and total disability if both of the following apply:
- They cant engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition and
- A doctor determines their condition:
- Has lasted continuously for at least a year or
- Will last continuously for at least a year or
- Can lead to death
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Specialized Facilities For Children
The Department of Childrens Services or Department of Education may place children in specialized childrens facilities that provide 24-hour care. Placement may require a Child In Need of Service recommendation for placement through the Childrens Mental Health Initiative or special education system, if it is determined that the school cannot meet the childs educational needs.
What Do I Need To Know About Advance Designation
You should be aware of another type of representation called Advance Designation. This relates to the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, which was signed into law on April 13, 2018.
Advance Designation allows capable adult and emancipated minor applicants and beneficiaries of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Special Veterans Benefits to choose one or more individuals to serve as their representative payee in the future, if the need arises.
To help protect whats important to you, we now offer the option to choose a representative payee in advance. In the event that you can no longer make your own decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits. If you need a representative payee to assist with the management of your benefits, we will first consider your advance designees, but we must still fully evaluate them and determine their suitability at that time.
You can submit your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal account, by telephone, or in person.
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What Our Customers Are Saying
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Health Resources For People With Disabilities
Federal, state, and local government agencies and programs can help with your health needs if you have a disability.
Explore the Disability and Health section of CDC.gov for articles, programs, tips for healthy living and more.
Learn more about benefits for people with disabilities from the Social Security Administration.
Contact your local city or county government to find out what medical and health services are available locally for people with disabilities.
Your state social service agency can help you locate medical and health programs.
Visit USA.govs Government Benefits page to learn more about government programs and services that can help you and your family.
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