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Why might your Social Security disability benefits be denied?

When your disability becomes catastrophic and life-changing, Social Security disability benefits may be your only option for a living income. When applying for Social Security benefits, you must meet certain criteria for disability or your request will be denied. These requirements are set out not by the state of Michigan, but by the United States Social Security Administration. States have little to no determination in Social Security disability benefits cases.

For the Social Security Administration to grant disability benefits, you must meet their criteria for medical conditions that qualify as complete disability. According to the SSA website, reasons for rejection include:

  • A disability that only qualifies as a short-term disability, rather than permanent or likely to end in death
  • Partial disability versus complete disability
  • Disability that does not completely eliminate your capacity to do the work you were accustomed to prior to your disability
  • Disability that does not prevent you from seeking work in another, more accommodating occupation

In order for a disability to qualify as permanent, you must be disabled for at least one year. The Social Security Administration may also deny benefits for non medical reasons. If you have been denied for medical reasons, the SSA website states that you may submit a request for an appeal in your case. If you have been denied for non medical reasons, you may be able to resolve the matter at the local level by contacting your area Social Security Administration office.

This information is provided for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal counsel or official recommendations.

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