April 16, 2020

Allsup Explains Reasons for Social Security Disability Claim Denials

Annual Social Security report lists top reasons for final medical denial of SSDI benefits

Belleville, Illinois — April 16, 2020 Nearly 513,000 people applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits received medical denials in 2017. This illustrates the importance of understanding the complex SSDI application process and how best to qualify for benefits, according to Allsup, the nation’s premier disability representation company. In 36 years, Allsup has helped hundreds of thousands of people nationwide qualify for and receive SSDI benefits.

According to the recently released 2018 Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, the top three reasons for final medical denials were:

  • The person was found able to do other types of work (40.6 %).
  • The impairment was found not to be severe enough (23.8 %).
  • The person was able to do their past work (9.9%).

Rounding out the reasons for nearly 513,000 medical denials were:

  • The impairment did not or is not expected to last 12 months (5%).
  • Other – e.g. insufficient medical evidence, incomplete claim development, return to substantial work before disability is established (20.8%).

“The criteria to receive SSDI benefits are very rigorous,” said Dan Contreras, Allsup lead advocate. “For example, your disability must be severe enough to demonstrate that you are unable to work for 12 months or longer, or that it is terminal. If that’s not the case, it’s likely the Social Security disability examiner will deny the application because the disability is not severe enough to prevent working.

“Documentation and medical records are extremely important for not only medical conditions, but also for work and job history,” Contreras explained.

The SSA has a five-step review process for most SSDI applicants, according to Contreras.

  • Are you unable to engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)? Earning more than $1,260 a month typically indicates you are able to work with your disability.
  • Is your physical and/or mental condition severe?
  • Does your condition meet a medical listing? These SSA listings cover major body systems and impairments considered severe enough that make it difficult to perform SGA.
  • Can you do your past job?
  • Can you do any job? This is based on your education, skills and vocational rules that vary by age.

“Given the stringent nature of the SSDI review process, knowing if you are eligible before you apply is important,” says Contreras. Allsup’s free online assessment tool, empower by Allsup® has significantly enhanced the SSDI eligibility, application and appeal process. “It helps determine in advance if you are likely to meet the eligibility requirements of the program, and it’s easy and efficient, and with Allsup, 97% of those who complete the SSDI process with us obtain benefits.”

To apply for disability benefits or get help with a disability appeal, visit Allsup.com.

Learn more about empower by Allsup at FileSSDI.Allsup.com.


Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, return to work, and healthcare benefits services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Learn more at TrueHelp.com and @Allsup.



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