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Social Security Notice of Denial Explained

Many individuals cannot work due to permanent disabilities. Regardless of the cause of the disability, the Social Security Administration provides financial support to individuals whose disability keeps them from working.

The Social Security Administration provides two forms of financial assistance: Social Security Disability (SSD) Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSD benefits are awarded to individuals who have worked long enough to pay a substantial amount of Social Security taxes, which the Social Security Administration considers "insurance" that may be paid out in case of total disability. One must be disabled for 12 months and out of work for 5 months before Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits will be issued. Supplemental Security Income is money awarded to people who are blind, over 65, or who are disabled and have little or no income, but are not insured for SSD benefits. SSI benefits are payable from the date of disability, assuming the non-medical conditions are met. SSD and SSI are payable until a person is able to return to gainful employment.

These benefits provide a lifeline for people who struggle to keep afloat financially due to a disability. However, over 75 percent of first-time applicants are denied. Notices of denial can be disheartening and are caused by several factors. One may fail to meet the non-medical conditions of eligibility because they have not have worked long enough to accrue enough Social Security insurance. However, SSI benefits may be payable. Commonly, a medical condition, though debilitating, may not meet the Social Security Administration's definition of "disabled."

What Does a Notice of Denial Look Like? Why is It Important?

A Notice of Denial in a Social Security Disability case is usually mailed to the SSD/SSI applicant. It will state that it is a "Notice of Disapproved Claim." It will have identifying information about you including your name, address and Social Security number. It will briefly state the reason for the denial. Typically it will say that you are not disabled enough to qualify. The claim denial should also list the medical records that the claims examiner reviewed and upon which the claim denial is based.

The claim denial will also show the date of the notice. This is important because an applicant who was denied SSD or SSI benefits has only 60 days to appeal from the date on the Social Security Notice of Disapproved Claim. If that due date passes, the applicant will have to reapply for benefits. Since SSD and SSI benefits can provide crucial financial assistance to people who can no longer work due to disability, filing a timely appeal after receiving a Notice of Disapproved Claim is a prudent decision. An experienced attorney is necessary to help you appeal any denial of your claim.

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