Top Reasons for Denied Social Security Disability Claims, Explained

By April 28, 2020 May 22nd, 2020 No Comments

With the significant economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, those who rely on Social Security disability benefits are especially concerned about being able to receive the financial support they need. While those whose claims have already been accepted may be secure for now, those who are applying for Social Security disability benefits right now are facing many unknown factors. A recent report by Allsup, a major disability representation company, released information about denied disability claims over the years. Let’s take a closer look at the top three reasons why Americans were denied their benefits in 2017.

Reason #3: The Individual Could Still Perform Their Past Work

According to the report, 9.9 percent of the 513,000 people whose SSDI claims were denied could still physically perform the tasks associated with their past work. If the Social Security disability examiner determines that your disability is not severe enough to prevent you from working for a period of 12 months or longer, then your claim will likely be denied. 

Reason #2: The Impairment is Not Severe Enough

In order to receive SSDI benefits, the injury or disability must be serious enough in nature that it makes it impossible for you to work for twelve months or longer. Of the hundreds of thousands of SSDI applicants whose claims were denied, 23.8 percent were rejected because their condition or impairment was found to not be severe enough for the individual to qualify for benefits. 

Reason #1: The Individual Was Able to Work at a Different Job

One of the major questions that the Social Security Administration (SSA) asks when determining SSDI eligibility is whether the person can perform any other job duties. Before awarding benefits, the examiner will look at the applicant’s educational history, skills, and vocational training to assess whether the applicant can find gainful employment in another position. The top reason why SSDI claims were denied (40.6 percent) was because the SSA found that people could still find employment, even with their disabilities or impairments. 


If you are concerned about your SSDI benefits, or your claim has been rejected and you want guidance on what to do next, Drew L. Johnson, P.C. is dedicated to helping Eugene and Albany residents successfully resolve their SSI and SSD issues. Call (541) 434-6466 today to arrange a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Social Security disability benefits attorney.

Drew L. Johnson

Drew L. Johnson

Drew L. Johnson has been fighting for the rights of Lane County Social Security Disability claimants for more than 40 years. Learn More