Top Ten Reasons Why Claims For Social Security Disability Benefits are Denied.

1. Earning too much money each month.

2. Disability is not severe enough.

3. Not following doctor’s orders.

4. Disability related to drug or alcohol addiction.

5. Not enough work credits earned.

6. Not cooperating with the Social Security Administration.

7. Social Security Administration cannot reach you.

8. Convicted of a crime.

9. Committing fraud.

10. Previous denial without exhausting appeals.

Go to for more information.

If you have any questions or concerns about this issue or other issues on the law, please call the Nomberg Law Firm at 205-930-6900.



Hey, it’s Bernard Nomberg with the Nomberg Law Firm and one of the areas that we handle for our clients are social security disability claims. And over the years we’ve developed a list of the most common reasons why folks are denied in their applications for disability benefits. It’s hard enough going through the process of applying for social security disability. You have to spend many hours gathering W2’s and medical records, lab results, pharmacy, and making sure that all of the proper information is part of your application and then it takes weeks, if not many months to get back that initial decision. And when you get that unfavorable decision, it can be pretty stressful. It can be pretty devastating at times, but no fear. There is the appeal process that you can go through, but before you get to that part, there’s about 10 different things that I want to go over that may help in the initial application process.

And the common things that we want to stay away from or that we want to do differently is when you’re going through the application process, you have to confirm how much money you’re earning on a monthly basis, and compare it with the current social security regulations for substantial gainful employment. If you earn too much, then you’re going to be disqualified automatically, so you need to check at or give us a call. We’ll help talk you through that part.

Another reason or another basis for denial is that your disability isn’t considered severe enough according to the government, according to the regulations, to meet the criteria of disability. And every case is different and again, we’ll be glad to go over those with you if you have those concerns or questions. Not following doctor’s orders is a surefire way of getting your claim for disability benefits denied. When they go through the records, the initial decision makers and reviewers of your application, and they see that the doctor has ordered certain medical testing or treatments et cetera, then they’re just going to see a person who’s been noncompliant and that’s probably going to kick your application out.

If your disability is related to drug or alcohol addiction, it’s going to get kicked out. You did not meet some of the basic nonmedical requirements. That’s another area we have to look at. I already mentioned one of them and that was the substantial gainful activity limit of certain dollar amount earn per month. Or if you don’t have enough work credits within a given period of time. And again, every situation is case by case, but you have to have a certain number of credits paid in within a period of time prior to your application and your alleged onset date.

Again, not cooperating with the Social Security Administration could be another one. For example, if they have set up a medical appointment and evaluation for you with one of the doctors to help guide them on what your medical conditions are or not. And you don’t fail, excuse me, and you fail to show up at the appointments, that can get your application kicked. If the Social Security Administration cannot get in touch with you, make sure you’ve given them your most recent and best avenues of communication, whether it’s your email or phone number or your physical mailing address. If they can’t reach you, then they’re not going to even put you into consideration.

If you’ve been convicted of a crime during that time period that you’re incarcerated, you’re not entitled to benefits. Now after you’re released from jail, that makes you eligible again. But during incarceration time, you’re not.

If you’re committing fraud, and this is our next to last one. If you’re committing fraud, if you’re making it up of course, and they find out not only will your application be denied, but then you will be prosecuted for trying to commit fraud against the government.

And I guess one of the, or the last one that I have is that you’ve been denied before. Now, if you’ve got to go through the appeal process before you can start over and you typically are going to need more medical care, et cetera. But this is not an exhaustive list. It’s about 10 that we’ve come up with over the years. Every case is a little bit different. Please give us a call if you have questions, concerns, or feel like you should be applying. We can certainly assist and be glad to represent you. is our website. Our phone number in Birmingham is (205) 930-6900. Thank you.


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Steve Altmann has been assisting consumers and business owners with bankruptcy matters for more than 27 years. 

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