Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

What do you if you get a disability claim denial?

When social security issues a decision on a claim (and this could be at the disability application level, reconsideration appeal level, or disability hearing level), a notice is sent to the claimant informing them of the decision. The decision letter will make vague reference as to why the claim was denied; but, it really won't explain in any reasonable amount of detail exactly why the person was given a denial.

As a former disability examiner, I can vouch for the relative uselessness of trying to extract any meaning from a notice of denial. These letters are basically boilerplate template letters that, for the most part, all look the same.

In nearly all cases, when a claimant receives a notice of denial on a claim, it is simply because the social security administration has reviewed the claimant's medical records and failed to find evidence of their inability to work due to one or more disabling conditions.

This, of course, happens more than seventy percent of the time when a disability application is reviewed, and the percentage for denial goes up even more sharply for individuals who are submitting requests for reconsideration (the first appeal level is the reconsideration).

What evidence will the social security administration need in order to approve a disability claim? The evidence must do the following:

1. It must show that the claimant has at least one severe impairment.

2. It must show that the impairment is limiting enough that the claimant cannot be expected to do their past work.

3. It must show that the impairment is limiting enough that the claimant could not be expected to find some type of other work that would provide for a substantial and gainful income.

4. The claimant's condition must be this disabling for a period no shorter than a year.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing the application for SSD or SSI disability
Filing for disability - where to go
How to qualify for disability
Qualifying for disability
Winning disability benefits, how to win
Winning disability for a mental condition
Social Security Disability Back pay, SSD, SSI
Disability Criteria and requirements