Why Social Security Disability Applications Get Denied

If you are like most people who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you probably had your initial application denied. Over 70% of initial applications for Disability are denied. The sad truth is that most of these denied applications are legitimate claims that will eventually be approved by an administrative law judge if the claimant follows his/her claim all the way through the appeals process. At Jorgensen Law, Over 80% of the clients that we represent are approved for disability benefits when we represent them in a Social Security hearing. Unfortunately, it can often take well over a year to schedule a disability hearing, and you can only request a hearing once you have been denied disability at the initial application level and reconsideration appeal level.

If many of the claims that are denied at the initial application level eventually get approved in a hearing, then why were they denied in the first place?

One reason that so many claims get denied could have something to do with the fact that the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Disability Determination Services (DDS) are understaffed. The work load for a DDS examiner is very high and it often feels like the goal of the examiner is to find a reason not to award you disability benefits.

Another reason that so many claims get denied is often due to poor or mediocre medical records. When the DDS examiner is evaluating your claim, he/she relies heavily on the medical records provided by your treating physicians. If your medical records do not convince the examiner about your inability to work and he/she feels that you are able to engage in a substantial gainful activity, then your claim will be denied.

If your medical records are not available, incomplete, or if they do not address all the symptoms that you listed on your application, then DDS might request you to visit one of their doctors for a Consultative Exam (CE). If this is the case, the DDS will pay for the exam. The purpose of this exam is not to treat your disability but to provide an updated medical record for your disability. If you are asked to go to a CE exam and you fail to do so, then your application might be denied for failure to cooperate.

Many people who apply for disability are not working and have limited or no income. Because of this, a disabled person might stop going to the doctor and will sometimes even stop taking their medication because they can’t afford it. This looks very bad in the eyes of the DDS examiner. If you have not been going to the doctor recently, or if you have stopped taking your medication, the DDS examiner might mistakenly think that you must be getting better and will deny your disability claim.

Regardless of why your disability application is denied, the good news is that you can still win your disability claim. Applying for Social Security Disability can be stressful and take a long time. If you get denied benefits, don’t give up. For experienced legal representation and an aggressive pursuit of your SSDI or SSI claims, contact Jorgensen Law. For assistance, schedule a free consultation at our office by calling (866) 587.9176.

With Social Security Disability (SSDI) and SSI office locations in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside, we represent clients throughout the state of California. Some of the cities that are served by our offices in the Southern California area include: Santa Ana, Fontana, Orange County, Oceanside, Santa Clarita, San Clemente, Ontario, Garden Grove, Pomona, Torrance, Pasadena, Palmdale, Corona, Lancaster, Escondido, Orange, Fullerton, Chula Vista, El Monte, Simi Valley, Inglewood, Costa Mesa, Downey, West Covina, Norwalk, Ventura, Burbank, Victorville, Carlsbad, South Gate, El Cajon, Mission Viejo, Temecula and Murrieta.