You may feel frustrated and disheartened if the Social Security Administration rejects your application for disability benefits. However, you should not give up hope. The SSA actually rejects a majority of initial applications for Social Security Disability, as many as two-thirds.
There is an appeals process with several levels in place for people who receive application denials. Rejections are common at the first couple of levels, but the chances for approval improve thereafter. Nevertheless, understanding the requirements may help you gather the information you need to increase your chances of approval the first time.
- The list of disabling conditions
According to the Motley Fool, the Social Security Administration maintains a list of conditions that qualify for SSD benefits. You may still be able to qualify if your condition is not on the list, but it will involve extra steps.
- Inability to work
To qualify for SSD, your disability must be severe enough that it keeps you from working and earning your own income. In other words, you must not be able to perform any job, including the one that you did prior to your disability.
Additionally, the expectation must be that your condition will last for more than a year and/or result in death. Certain serious progressive conditions can qualify for immediate approval.
- Prior work history
Even though your condition prevents you from working now, you must have performed steady work in the recent past, and preferably for a long duration, for the SSA to approve your application for Social Security Disability. There are minimum requirements in this regard, so if you do not have the necessary work history, you cannot collect SSD benefits.
Remember that approval of your initial Social Security Disability application is the exception, not the rule. However, you may be able to receive the benefits you need if you stick with the appeals process.