Contact Us

  >  Uncategorized   >  Understanding SSDI Denials: Common Reasons and How to Appeal

Understanding SSDI Denials: Common Reasons and How to Appeal

Have you received a denial for your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim? Understanding the reasons behind SSDI denials and knowing how to effectively appeal can significantly increase your chances of approval. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the common reasons for SSDI denials and provide valuable insights on the appeals process.

Common Reasons for SSDI Denials

Insufficient Medical Evidence: One of the most common reasons for SSDI denials is a lack of sufficient medical evidence to support your disability claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires extensive documentation of your medical condition, including diagnosis, treatment history, and functional limitations.

Failure to Meet Eligibility Criteria: SSDI eligibility is based on specific criteria, including work history, income, and severity of disability. If you fail to meet these eligibility criteria, your claim may be denied.

Engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): If the SSA determines that you are engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) despite your disability, you may be denied SSDI benefits. SGA refers to any work activity that earns a certain amount of income, which varies depending on the year.

Non-Compliance with Treatment: Failure to comply with prescribed medical treatment or therapy can also result in SSDI denials. The SSA may deny your claim if they believe that you are not actively seeking treatment to improve your condition.

Incomplete or Inaccurate Application: Errors or omissions in your SSDI application can lead to denials. It’s essential to provide accurate and complete information about your medical condition, work history, and financial status when applying for benefits.

How to Appeal an SSDI Denial

  • File a Request for Reconsideration: If your SSDI claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The first step in the appeals process is to file a request for reconsideration, where your case will be reviewed by a different examiner at the SSA.
  • Request a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge: If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). During the hearing, you’ll have the opportunity to present additional evidence and testimony to support your claim.
  • Seek Representation: Consider hiring a disability lawyer or representative to help you navigate the appeals process. An experienced attorney can provide invaluable guidance, gather necessary evidence, and represent you effectively at hearings.
  • Appeal to the Appeals Council: If the ALJ denies your claim, you can appeal to the SSA’s Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review your case and may either approve your claim, deny it, or send it back to the ALJ for further review.
  • File a Federal Court Appeal: If all other avenues for appeal are exhausted, you have the option to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the SSA’s decision. This is often a last resort and can be a complex and lengthy process.


SSDI denials can be frustrating, but they are not the end of the road. By understanding the common reasons for denials and knowing how to effectively appeal, you can increase your chances of securing the benefits you deserve. If you need assistance with your SSDI appeal, don’t hesitate to reach out to Green & Greenberg for experienced legal representation.

For more information and resources on SSDI denials and appeals, visit our Disability Blog.