If you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and receive a denial notice, that is no reason to panic. The truth is, more than six in every 10 SSDI claims are rejected at first. In most cases, you will be able to appeal this decision.

However, in order to file an effective appeal, you have to understand why the agency did not accept your application. Only then is it possible to address their concerns and increase your odds of success. With that in mind, here is a brief overview of the two main types of SSDI denials.

Medical denials

The Social Security Administration has specific requirements in place for the SSDI program. In order to receive benefits, you have to meet the agency’s definition of disabled. This involves looking at:

  • Whether your medical condition is on a predetermined list of accepted ailments
  • Whether your condition is too severe to do any type of work
  • Whether your condition is expected to last at least 12 months

If the Social Security Administration does not believe your health situation qualifies as a disability, then you will receive a medical denial.

You can usually appeal a medical denial. Oftentimes, it involves gathering more health care evidence to better explain your situation. It can help to have support during this process from someone who knows the ins and outs, and what the agency might be looking for.

Technical denials

A technical denial is a denial that does not have anything to do with your health. For example, maybe you are currently working and make too much money, putting you above the strict income limit. Or you have not accrued enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. It could even be as simple as a lost piece of paperwork or incorrect contact information on the application.

It can be harder to appeal a technical denial, but in some cases it is possible. This is particularly true if the denial was the result of a clerical error, or a mistake by the Social Security Administration. Whatever the case, you have to figure out precisely what went wrong, and figure out a way to address it.

Securing SSDI benefits should not be complicated. Unfortunately, it sometimes goes that way. Just remember, a “No” on your initial application does not necessarily mean you are out of options.