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To Questions About Your Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Attorney Shawn Taylor

Common reasons SSD applications are denied

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2021 | Social Security Disability |

The Social Security Administration is well-known for taking a significant length of time when evaluating disability claims. All disability rulings from the federal agency are permanent, so they are diligent in requiring valid medical information before issuing a final approval. However, West Virginia applicants must provide personal information as well, which can also be used as part of any reason to deny a claim. Claiming disability is not so much about proving a medical condition exists, as it is actually a claim of inability to maintain substantial gainful employment due to one medical problem or a combination of medical issues. This sets the basis for standard reasons the SSA uses in denying claims.


Rules differ for SSD applicants who are under 50 years of age. The SSA will typically deny a claim based on the potential for alternative employment other than the applicant’s prior employment history. Applicants who have an education level that would allow them to work in sedentary employment are commonly denied at first if they are under age 50.

Unqualified medical condition

While many applicants do indeed suffer from a medical issue, the SSA will commonly deem it is not serious enough to warrant a disability benefits approval. Conditions that are listed as prior approvals are sometimes allowed, but even then the agency may want the case heard through the appeals process. Many claims are actually approved based on multiple conditions and total health issues.

Insufficient tax credits

Social Security Disability Insurance is a qualified program based on the number of tax payment credits earned by the applicant. Disabled workers must have 40 total credits unless they are in the early stage of their working career, and 20 of those credits must be earned in the most recent 10 years. SSA allows one credit per quarter worked with a minimum earning of $1440. However, denied disabled applicants may be eligible for SSI based on personal assets.

It is important to remember that the SSA approves less than 30% of disability claims from initial applications. More cases are approved through the appeals process where inability to work can be demonstrated in a hearing.