Why was my claim for Social Security Disability denied?
Denials are issued simply because in the eyes of the disability examiner (or appeals processer) the claimant failed to prove that they were unable to work at a substantial and gainful level, and that they were unable to do so for at least one full year. Along these same lines, the examiner thinks that the claimant’s residual functional capacity does not preclude them from going back to their old job.
Remember that in order to qualify for disability your condition must be:
- Severe enough to make it impossible to work at a substantial and gainful level;
- Severe enough to last one year.
“Working at a substantial and gainful level” includes your last job, any jobs that you held in the last 15 years (what Social Security considers to be relevant past work), and any other jobs that your skills and training may qualify you, as long as your age and restrictions don’t disqualify you.
Another somewhat common reason for denial is that the claimant returned to their work (where they presumably earn a substantial and gainful wage) while the disability application or appeal was pending. It goes without saying that if a claimant returns to work while the application is pending, there is no hope that the examiner will find them “unable to return to work.”