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Common Reasons Social Security Disability Benefits May Be Denied

Someone who endures a significant personal injury often relies on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to help make ends meet. It can come as a shock when SSDI benefits are denied. There are a number of reasons why someone might not qualify for SSDI, or lose that qualification due to lack of attention or other factors.
  • Income is too high. SSDI benefits are intended as a supplement for people who are unable to work enough to earn a living. An individual will be disqualified from SSDI payments if he or she earns $880 per month or more from working. This amount applies to 2019, and gets adjusted annually. SSDI benefits are reduced for individuals who earn at least $880. An individual who earns $1,220 per month or more will no longer qualify for any SSDI payments at all. Note that income from other sources, like investments or rental properties, does not count toward this limit.
  • Lack of technical compliance. Failing to provide required health information to the Social Security Administration, or failing to follow a doctor’s prescribed treatment program, may lead to disqualification for SSDI.
  • Disability sustained by substance abuse. If the SSA determines that an individual’s disability is caused by alcoholism or drug addiction, benefits may be denied. The idea behind this rule is to ensure that SSDI payments are not being used simply to feed an addiction that is the sole cause of a person’s inability to work. Someone who has an alcohol or drug dependency that isn’t related to the disability may still be able to draw benefits.
  • Non-qualifying medical condition. To qualify for SSDI benefits an individual must have a disabling medical condition that will prevent the individual from working for at least one year. For SSDI purposes, an injury is only disabling if it prevents an individual from performing any substantially gainful work activity.
The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases for over 45 years. We help clients examine all their financial options to find the best path forward while they recover from their injuries. For a free attorney consultation about your case call us today at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.