Top Reasons for Denied Social Security Disability Claims in 2021, Explained

With the significant economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still very much a reality, those who rely on Social Security disability benefits are especially concerned about receiving 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. In the following post, we’ll outline three of the top reasons why you could be denied Social Security disability benefits through the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Reason #3: You Can Still Perform Past Work

Suppose Social Security determines that your disability does not prevent you from working for at least 12 months. In that case, your claim will likely be denied. Many people try to skirt around this by submitting a claim without proper medical documentation to show a long-term disability. With approvals getting tighter by the month, detailed documentation needs to show that you will not be able to perform work over an extended period.

Reason #2: Your Impairment is Not Severe Enough

In order to receive SSDI benefits, the injury or disability must be severe enough in nature that it makes it impossible for you to work for at least twelve months. Of the hundreds of thousands of SSDI applicants whose claims are denied each year, a sizable percentage are found to have a condition or impairment not severe enough 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 work other than that person’s regular occupation. Even though a person cannot perform his or her regular work, before awarding benefits, Social Security will look at the applicant’s educational history, skills, and vocational training to assess whether the applicant can perform gainful employment in another position. One of the consistently top reasons why applicants are denied is because the SSA finds that many can still perform some type of 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 SSDI issues. Call (541) 434-6466 today to arrange a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Social Security disability benefits attorney.