If you're reading this blog, then it is very likely your Social Security disability claim was denied, and you're trying to figure out why.
Sometimes, it's hard to pinpoint why a disability case was denied, and even sometimes more, there is no rhyme or reason.
But, here are some likely reasons why your case may have been denied:
1. Your condition is not as severe as you think it is, or as severe as you stated.
Credibility of a claimant's statement is actually very important in determining whether a person is disabled. The doctor determining and reviewing your case will never come out and say you are a liar, but his or her comments stating "partially credible" or "not credible," simply means the same thing. It's only a nicer way of stating you are exaggerating your symptoms. A good example of this is when a claimant states that he or she is completely unable to cook, clean, drive, etc. in his or her Function Report, but medical records do not support such allegations.
Solution: Make sure the doctor noting your medical records states what physical and/or mental limitations you have. The better your medical records are documented, the better they support your allegations that you are unable to work.
2. You're just too young to receive Social Security disability.
The rules governing as to whether or a person is disabled, favors those over the age of 50 and really favors those over the age of 55. The Social Security Administration recognizes that as we age, there are fewer jobs within the national economy available and jobs a persons is capable of performing on a full-time basis.
Solution: Keep filing your appeals and prepare to have to go to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Also, keep going to the doctor to help better substantiate your allegations. The better and more medical evidence you have, the better your chances will be.
3. You are alleging only a mental impairment.
By and far, the most Social Security disability cases that are denied are due to mental limitations. This is especially true for bipolar, depression, and ADHD claims. They are just too numerous! Too many people make the allegation that due to their bipolar disorder they are unable to work. In all reality, if you have not had a recent hospitalization due to your mental condition, it is very unlikely you will be approved. Further, the burden is going to be on you to prove that you are unable to even follow simple instructions, work with incidental contact with other employees, a supervisor, or the general public. Lastly, you're going to have to show you would be off task at a minimum of 10% of the time and miss more than 1 to 2 days of work due to your mental condition(s). For most, this is very hard to do.
Solution: Go back to work. Seriously. If you have not had a recent hospitalization, it is very unlikely you will even be approved at the hearing level. You're looking at wasting two years of your life for continuing unfavorable decisions.
3. Your education level is too high and too recent.
Like age, the Social Security rules favor those with less education. For those without a high school education, chances are improved to be approved for disability, especially if you are over the age of 50. You have to understand something, there is likely no denying you have a serious condition that may seem as though it keeps you from working. But, there are other factors taken into consideration when determining whether a person is disabled. One of these is a person's education level. As a person ages, and if his or her education level is limited, then the Social Security Administration realizes there are fewer jobs available a person would be capable of performing.
Solution: If you're under the age of 50, and you have a high school education or better, examine all other factors in relation to your case. I would even go so far as to consult with an experienced disability attorney to give you an honest assessment.
4. You only have a severe back impairment.
The Social Security Administration sees probably hundreds of disability cases on a daily basis alleging due to a back impairment, a person is unable to work. While many of these cases are decided favorably, many must go onto the hearing level to be evaluated by an Administrative Law Judge. It's hard to really understand a person's limitations solely by their medical records. Oftentimes, a person needs to testify at his or her hearing to better explain how he or she is unable lift, stand, walk, bend, sit, etc.
Solution: Be prepared to have to go to a hearing. Also, be prepared to wait about 2 years from the time in which you filed until the time in which the judge makes a decision in your case.
5. You have transferable work skills.
You're likely saying to yourself, what the hell are transferable work skills? Well, these are skills you develop while working at jobs over the last fifteen years before filing. If you have skills that are transferable to other types of work even with your present impairment(s), then it is very likely you are going to be denied. To understand the definition of being disabled, that would take a whole other blog post. Suffice it to say, if you have work skills you can transfer to some other type of work within the national economy, then stop wasting your time attempting to file for disability.
Solution: Consider going back to work if you can. Otherwise, prepare for a long process of at least two years to receive a determination from an Administrative Law Judge.
While none of these examples are set in stone, they are factors you need to consider if you have been recently denied benefits. For some, there may be other factors that need to be taken into consideration even if one of these examples applies. Each case is unique, and one person may be denied while another is approved. One has to also understand, that even though certain rules are in place, a real person is actually making a decision in each case. That person is also subject to error, and sometimes that error is in a person's favor. The point of this blog is to allow people to better understand the Social Security disability system. Oftentimes, it is not fair. But, a person better prepared has less of a chance of being a victim to the system.
We help claimants throughout Texas and California fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. If you need our help, please always feel free to call: (888) 780-9125.