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Main Reasons SSDI Claims are Denied

  • Published: 2010-05-10 (Revised/Updated 2013-06-08) : Author: Jonathan Ginsberg
  • Synopsis: Many denied SSDI claims are justified unfortunately SSDI judges fail to approve many SSDI claims initially.

Many SSDI claims are justified and worthy ones. Unfortunately, SSDI judges fail to approve many of these claims initially.

Statistics regarding SSDI approvals and denials

The SSA recently divulged statistics attesting to the fact that eventually, 34% of all the SSDI benefit applications get approved and benefits are awarded to the applicant. Conversely, when applications are in their initial stages, approximately 75% of all claims are denied. Additionally, it is difficult to estimate whether an individual will be approved or denied because the aforementioned percentages are not broken down based on what type of medical or mental problem you have. On average, it could take up to 2 years before a decision is rendered.

Why do SSDI claims get denied

Many SSDI claims are justified and worthy ones. Unfortunately, SSDI judges fail to approve many of these claims initially. This is due (in part) to the fact that many of these judges perform limited evaluations of the evidence at hand. Even if you have a good case, the following are the more common reasons that a judge will deny you benefits:

The applicant has filed previous applications for benefits (when many judges see this, they automatically deny a claim for SSDI benefits)

The disability application lists numerous impairments, but not a main problem

Your medical problem may not meet the SSA listing for that specific problem (judges simply reject cases that are deemed as non-listing level ones)

If you have worked after the onset date of your condition, judges oftentimes deny SSDI benefit claims

Sadly, the huge workload of disability claims and benefits applications causes some just to randomly deny claims in order to save time

Additional considerations

Knowing the statistics mentioned in the sections above, it becomes important for an individual to realize why their application could be denied. After all, you want to overcome that possibility if you can so that you are awarded the SSDI benefits you deserve and need. Just don't get discouraged if you are denied initially because it doesn't mean that your case has to end there.

Herein lays the importance of having an experienced and knowledgeable disability attorney to help you get the benefits you need. Individuals should always consider hiring the services of a trained professional in order to assist them with their SSDI claim. They are skilled at handling these types of cases and know what the SSA judges are looking for when hearing your case. We have always recommended that individuals should consider hiring a disability attorney before starting the application process. About the Author

Jonathan Ginsberg has been practicing Social Security Disability law in the Atlanta, Georgia area for over 20 years. His website can be found at

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