When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, many people focus on the medical aspect of the application and make sure that there are no mistakes in that. While that's very important, as medical ineligibility is a common reason SSD benefits are denied in the first instance, its also important to look at non-medical reasons for denial of SSD claims. It might come as a surprise to California residents that a claim can be denied before it ever reaches a disability examiner or getting a medical determination. Then what other reasons are there for a denial?
One of the most common non-medical reasons for a denial is that the applicant may be working and earning more than the substantial gainful activity amount. What does this mean for an applicant? If someone is working and earning too much at the time of their application, their application won't make it to the stage of medical determination. A technical denial will be granted very quickly.
It does not really matter that the substantial gainful activity level is a small amount and many people do not even consider it gainful. What matters is that any income above a specific threshold qualifies for a denial. This is because the whole reason behind the claim in the first place is that one is claiming they have a disabling condition that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity for at least a year.
Denied Social Security can be frustrating, which is why it is important to keep in mind both the medical and technical requirements when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. It might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney before beginning to determine whether one is eligible and what steps should be taken to become eligible.