A) I’m not privy to the specific details of your Social Security application, but I can provide some general information on why someone might be denied Social Security benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Both SSI and SSDI have different eligibility criteria and processes. Based on the information you provided, it’s possible that you were applying for SSI, as your income and Social Security income are relatively low.
Here are some common reasons for denial of SSI:
- Exceeding Income and Asset Limits: SSI has strict income and asset limits. If your income, including your Social Security benefits and part-time work earnings, exceeds these limits, you may be denied SSI. The exact income and asset limits can vary by state, so it’s important to check with your local Social Security office for the specific guidelines in your area.
- Medical Eligibility: If you applied for SSI due to a disability, your medical condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. Your condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death, and it must prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity (work). If your condition doesn’t meet these criteria or if there’s insufficient medical evidence to support your claim, you may be denied.
- Incomplete or Inaccurate Information: Providing incomplete or inaccurate information on your application or failing to provide requested documentation can lead to a denial. It’s essential to be thorough and honest when completing your application and to follow any instructions from the Social Security Administration.
- Failure to Cooperate: If you don’t cooperate with the Social Security Administration during the application process, such as attending medical examinations or providing requested documentation, your claim may be denied.
- Earnings Above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): If you applied for SSDI and your earnings from part-time work exceed the SGA threshold, which is a certain amount determined by the SSA each year, you may be denied benefits. The SSA considers individuals engaged in substantial gainful activity to be capable of self-support and, therefore, ineligible for SSDI.
If you were denied benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision. It’s often advisable to consult with an attorney or advocate who specializes in Social Security claims to help you through the appeals process. They can review your specific case, gather necessary documentation, and assist you in presenting a stronger case for benefits. Additionally, the appeals process can take time, so it’s essential to act promptly.