Why am I Not Eligible for SSDI?

Submitted by Elizabeth on

There are a few reasons why you may not be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Typically, these reasons revolve around your ability to work and earn an income. If you are able to work, and your income is above the threshold of eligibility for SSDI, your claim for disability benefits will be denied. Furthermore, if the severity of your medical condition (a.k.a., your disability) does not get any worse, it is also unlikely that you will win an appeal after you have received a denial letter for disability benefits.

1. You are working

If you are able to still work with your condition, and you make more than the 2024 Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount of $1,550/month, then the Social Security Administration (SSA) may likely deny your claim.

2. Your condition is not ‘severe’

The SSA defines a ‘severe condition’ as a condition that significantly limits your ability to do basic work-related activities—either in your previous job or any other job you may be qualified to do—for at least the next 12 months. If the SSA evaluates your disability benefits application and determines that you are not suffering from a ‘severe’ medical condition, then you may not qualify.

3. Your condition isn’t listed in the Blue Book

The Blue Book is the SSA’s resource they utilize to evaluate all medical conditions. The Blue Book is a manual of medical conditions and their symptoms that the SSA sees as qualifying for disability benefits. If your condition is not listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, then it may be more difficult to qualify for benefits compared to someone who has a condition that is listed in this manual. However, it is important to note that, while qualifying for disability benefits may be more difficult for applicants whose conditions are not listed in the Blue Book, it is not impossible to qualify. To qualify for disability benefits for a condition that is not listed in the Blue Book, you could ask your doctor to perform a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment which assesses both your physical and mental abilities and ultimately helps to determine the severity of your medical condition and your ability to work and communicate this information to the SSA.

4. You can work at a past job

If you are able to work in a job that you (1) used to work in at an earlier date, or (2) were previously trained for, then your disability benefits claim may be denied. When the SSA looks at an applicant’s working ability, their ability to work does not have to be in their current job. Instead, working ability evaluates your capability of performing the activities and tasks of a job you have done, or have been trained to do, throughout your entire professional career.

5. You can do other work

The SSA will also look at your age, education, work experience, and whether or not you can work elsewhere with your medical condition before they make a decision about your claim for SSDI.

6. You don’t have enough work credits

SSDI is the SSA’s disability benefits program that revolves around the amount of work credits applicants have. If you do not have enough work credits (meaning that you do not meet the SSA’s work credit requirement for SSDI), then you will not qualify for SSDI. For every year that you work in a job that is eligible for work credits, 4 work credits are accumulated. For example, if you are under 24 years-old, you will need to have earned a minimum of 6 work credits (from 1.5 years of work) during a 3-year period that accumulates 4 credits annually. The number of work credits required to qualify for SSDI increases as you get older. If you are over than 31 years-old, you are expected to have at least 20 work credits accrued in the 10-year period immediately before the commencement of your disability (a.k.a., the time at which you apply for disability benefits).

Get Help With Your Disability Claim

Given the importance of providing the right (and compelling) medical evidence that proves the severity of your medical condition to the SSA and highlights how your condition will prevent you from working, it is oftentimes encouraged to work with an attorney who specializes in helping people with disability benefits applications. This is because, without the help of an attorney, the disability benefits application process can be overwhelming and challenging. Coupled with this, people who work with a disability attorney have greater chances of winning their disability benefits claim and receiving the benefits they very well may need and deserve.

Get a Free Case Evaluation Today

Ultimately, if you work with an attorney, they may be able to help you win your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. To get connected with an independent, participating disability attorney who subscribes to our website and can help you with you disability benefits claim and application, complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page.

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