Denied Social Security Disability (SSDI) application: Next steps

Throughout your lifetime, a portion of your paycheck is put aside for Social Security purposes in case you suffer from a long-term or permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work. In order to obtain these benefits, must submit an application to the Social Security AdministrationYet, while millions of Americans submit qualified applications to receive Social Security disability every year, unfortunately, more than half are denied, often in error, leaving people without a lot of viable options. For this reason, it is imperative that you work with an experienced SSDI attorney in initially completing your application in order to ensure that all of your documentation is in order. In addition, an experienced attorney can also help you to appeal if your application is denied; there is no reason to start over and submit an entirely new application.


Why Is Social Security Denied?

There are a number of pitfalls an SSDI application can take which can contribute to the application being denied,

SSDI claim

including but not limited to:

  • Earning too much income: If you earn more (via work income, not investments) than the “substantial gainful activity” limit, or $1,170 per month, your application will be denied. Social Security Income (SSI) is a little different from disability (SSDI) in that there is a limit on both earned and unearned (i.e. any income incurred from investments, settlements, etc.) when it comes to SSI (approximately $1,500 per month).


  • Your disability isn’t long-term or permanent: With both SSDI and SSI, your disability must last a year or more and cause you to be severely impaired and/or result in your death (with the exception of blind SSI applicants).


  • Your medical records haven’t been released to the SSA: The SSA can deny your application due to inadequate medical information and/or failure to attend the mandatory consultative examination.


  • Failure to follow doctor’s recommendations (without an acceptable medical excuse).


  • Drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor to your disability and/or you would not be found to be disabled but-for your drug or alcohol use.


  • You have been convicted of a particular crime: For example, if your disability occurred in the course of committing a felony.


  • Your application is fraudulent.  


SSDI Application Denied? Appeal Assistance from a Social Security Lawyer Serving New Orleans & Surrounding Areas

If you receive a determination from the SSA that your application has been denied, you have 60 days from then to appeal the decision.

It is important to remember that many applications are initially turned down. Pursuing the process can often help ensure that eventually, you receive your benefits. Working with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer can greatly increase your chances of being granted benefits at the outcome of the appeal process. Having an attorney represent you at the appeal hearing significantly increases your chances of receiving a positive outcome. When you have a disability, denied benefits are not an option. We can help.

As Social Security disability attorneys, we work on a contingency basis, meaning that we are not paid unless you first receive your benefits. Contact us today to find out how we can help you receive the benefits you deserve.