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Common Reasons for Social Security Disability Denial

An accomplished Gainesville Social Security disability lawyer answering clients’ questions for more than 30 years

If you become severely ill or suffer from an extended injury, you may be eligible for Social Security disability. Filling out the claim requires patience and paperwork. If you make an error when you file, you could be denied your benefits.

As Gainesville Social Security disability attorneys, we work with a number of clients who were routinely denied for SSDI benefits before they came to us. So we have compiled a list of common reasons for SSDI benefit denial:

  • Your total disability won’t last for a year
  • Your disability is based on alcohol or drug addictions
  • Social Security can’t obtain your medical records
  • Despite your severe medical condition, you are still working
  • You have excess income and resources (SSI only)

Our Gainesville lawyers work to reframe your application to show the court that you are in need of benefits.

Learn more about why you may be denied your benefits

It’s a matter of time. While your total disability does not need to be permanent, you must be totally disabled for at least 12 continuous months to be eligible. Many people who suffer very severe injuries as a result of an accident, or perhaps have stopped working because of such things as back surgery, a heart attack or stroke, are often upset and dismayed that their disability application has been denied. Under Social Security policy, if there is any reasonable chance that you will regain the ability to perform some work within 12 months of the accident, surgery or illness, they will deny your claim. Even if it is clear that you will be unable to perform your past work, the claim will be denied if there is a chance that you would be capable of performing other work.

Substance abuse may keep you from qualifying. Disability resulting from ongoing abuse of alcohol or drugs can keep you from qualifying for disability if Social Security determines that your continued abuse would keep you from working. However, total disability resulting from past abuse of drugs or alcohol is not disqualifying.

Doctors are very busy. Social Security handles millions of disability claims each year, which entails obtaining medical records and information from many different doctors, hospitals and other health providers. Most of these health professionals are very busy, and it can be a burden for them to send records when they are repeatedly requested in connection with a disability claim. We work with your doctors to minimize the effort on their part, while maximizing the benefit to you in obtaining what is needed, when it is needed.

Substantial gainful activity prevents you from collecting. Under Social Security Regulations, “disability” means that you have severe medical condition(s) which prevent you from working. So no matter how severe your medical conditions may be, your claim cannot be granted if you are engaged in “substantial gainful activity.”

There are financial restrictions. Your income and resources (and those of your spouse) do not matter if your claim is for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). However, if your claim is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) there are very stringent limitations. For example, if a married individual is applying for SSI only, and their spouse has a good steady job, they may not be financially eligible for SSI even if they have a severe medical disability.

Call a Gainesville Social Security disability lawyer with the knowledge to assist you

Being denied for Social Security disability doesn’t have to happen twice. We help you file your SSDI claim correctly the first time, thus avoiding the common mistakes that cost you time and money. To schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of John V. Hogan by phone at 678-546-1010 or online.


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