Why Was I Denied Disability?

Thousands of workers just like you are denied Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits each year. But a denial from the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t have to stop you from trying to get the benefits you need. At Fields Law Firm, we can review your initial claim and help you file a strong disability appeal.

If you have questions about why your claim was denied by the Social Security Administration, our Social Security Disability lawyers can help. Contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week – just dial 1-888-343-5375 or complete a free contact request form to Get Fields!

Common Reasons Disability Claims Are Denied

Your SSD claim may be denied because of:

  • Income and Resources
    To get disability benefits, you must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) – meaning your monthly income has to fall below limits set by the SSA. Your claim will be denied if your monthly income exceeds SGA limits, which vary depending on the nature of your disability. The SSA’s most current SGA limit is $1,220 per month gross wages.
  • Failure to Follow Prescribed Therapy
    The SSA can deny your disability claim if you fail to follow a doctor’s prescribed treatment for your medical condition when that treatment is expected to restore your ability to work. That’s why going to your doctor is vital if you want the SSA to approve your disability claim.
  • Recovery Time
    Social Security Disability benefits are intended for people with disabilities expected to last at least one year or result in death. Some conditions expected to heal within weeks or months, such as bone fractures, may not qualify you for disability benefits.
  • Failure to Provide Information
    Claim will be denied if you fail to provide SSD with requested information.
  • Work Credits and Date Last Injured
    Social Security claims can be more complex than people realize. There is a lot that goes into the analysis of whether a claimant is disabled or not under Social Security’s standards. Occasionally, claimants will apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI) and get told that they are not eligible because of their date last insured or because they do not have enough work credits in the system. These determinations are based on the prior years worked before becoming disabled. The claimant’s date last insured is the last date that the individual is eligible to receive SSDI. This is based on the amount of work credits an individual has accumulated.To determine whether or not you have enough work credits, Social Security looks at the age you became disabled and how much time you worked in the years leading up to your disability. If you’re over 30, you have to have worked 5 of the last 10 years. If a claimant has not worked in many years, they are more likely to be denied SSDI for that reason. In those cases, however, the claimant may still be able to apply for Supplemental Security Income (or SSI).

These are just a few of the reasons your claim may have been denied. Our Social Security Disability lawyers know what successful disability claims look like, and we’ll work hard to help you get the benefits you need to support your family. Contact us anytime for answers to your questions. The call is free. The advice is free.

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income

In order to qualify for SSI, Social Security does not require that the claimant worked in the past. In fact, claimants who have never worked can apply for SSI. Social Security looks at the claimant’s assets and then determines if their disability would qualify them for receipt of SSI. If a claimant owns too much property, including vehicles, houses, motorcycles, etc., then they will likely not be approved for SSI. Social security’s medical requirements for SSDI and SSI are the same.

Proving You Qualify for Social Security Disability

If a claimant does not have an issue with work credits or their date last insured, and the claimant still gets denied, it is likely due to lack of medical support for their disability. In order to qualify for disability, the claimant needs to show that they either meet a listing or fall within the grids.

The listings are a list of defined disabling conditions with measurable or specific standards for establishing whether or not the individual meets the standard or listing for the described condition. For example, a common listing is 1.04 for disorders of the spine. People with back issues would try to meet this listing. If the medical evidence or the claimant’s doctor don’t support that the claimant meets or equals this listing, they probably will not be found disabled. Unless the judge determines that they meet the grids.

The grids are a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s age, education, past work and residual skills that can also be used to determine disability if an individual does not meet a listing. If an individual is 55, hasn’t graduated from high school and has only done construction work would qualify for disability under the grids. Younger individuals are those considered to be 49 or younger. Those in the range of 50-54 are considered to be approaching advanced age.

Disability Denial Letter

Many people who apply for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income are denied benefits at the initial application level. This could be for any number of reasons. Typically, however, claimants are told that the “evidence shows” one or more of the following, and they are therefore not disabled under the Social Security’s rules:

  1. You have been treated and evaluated for the above condition(s).
  2. You have enough energy to do many activities and tasks.
  3. You have the ability to stand and walk without assistance.
  4. You have the ability to use your hands and arms to perform tasks.
  5. The pain caused by your condition is not severe enough to keep you from doing your basic activities.
  6. You condition has responded to treatment.
  7. Your depression and anxiety do not severely affect your thinking abilities.
  8. You are able to understand, remember, and carry out daily activities.
  9. You are able to get along with other people for short periods of time.
  10. In combination, your impairments are not severe enough to be disabling.

These reasons may or may not be true. Even if they are true, they do not typically accurately describe a person’s disabilities. If this is the case, those persons should appeal. Claimants have 60 days from the date of their denial letter to file an appeal.

The first appeal is called a Request for Reconsideration. At this stage, a claimant’s file is given to a different disability examiner, who works with a physician to evaluate the claim. Claims can be appealed by mail or online. Either way, a claimant must file a “Disability Report – Appeal” with the Request for Reconsideration. The “Disability Report – Appeal” asks for any changes since the Disability Report – Adult was completed.

Claimants who receive a second denial notice also should appeal if they feel their case is warranted. The appeal at this stage is called a Request for Hearing. Claimants also have 60 days from the date of their denial letter to file the appeal.

At the hearing stage, the matter is assigned to an Administrative Law Judge. The claimant can appear before the judge and bring any witnesses to testify on the claimant’s behalf. Claimants often have success at this stage because they are able to explain their disabilities in person to a judge.

Most disability claims are denied at the initial application and the initial appeal levels. Claimants should appeal if they are truly not able to work.

If you have additional questions on whether or not you qualify for disability under either a listing or the grids, or why your claim was denied by the Social Security Administration, our Social Security Disability lawyers can help. Contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week – just dial 1-888-343-5375 or complete a free contact request form to Get Fields!



John Kelley
John Kelley
21:38 16 Oct 18
I was having issues with an insurance company and I hired fields law firm. The people there are amazing and always quick to answer questions even a couple times on the weekend. I worked with Blake amazing person and very informative on my case. I would highly recommend this firm to any of my friends.read more
Michael Frazier
Michael Frazier
23:58 10 Oct 18
I had the pleasure to work with Michael and Annie on my LTD case. When my claim was denied by the insurance carrier, Michael didn't hesitate to take them on with an appeal. He worked diligently on the appeal and ultimately won this for me. Mind you, this wasn't a huge case but he treated me like it was and as if I was the only case he was representing. He kept me abreast of vital information, it was clear that he knew his stuff and wasn't afraid to take on the big insurance company. Michael was much more than I ever expected given that our relationship was entirely remote, handled by telephone and email only. Not only is he a strong lawyer, he treated me with compassion and respect. I am beyond pleased with him and the Fields Law team. Michael cares about his clients and he gets the job done for them because he knows how impactful an injury can be to both a person's well-being and their financial security. I highly recommend Michael and Fields Law whether you are local to their Minnesota offices or out of state like myself.read more
Melanie Eason
Melanie Eason
20:12 29 Aug 18
Fields Law Firm is great. Patrick Kramer, my lawyer, is fantastic. He and his legal assistant Samantha K. have handled my case for several years. They have kept me informed every step of the way. They are both easy to contact. I have both of their phone numbers and email addresses and they respond promptly to any messages I leave. Without their help I would not have been able to get the disability company to fulfill their promises. It is a relief to leave all the dealings with the disability insurance company in their hands.read more
Jeannie Kerr
Jeannie Kerr
23:37 15 Sep 18
My experience with Merrick Williams of Fields Law Firm has been truly above and beyond satisfactory. His knowledge and professionalism have guided me through a very difficult time. He and his assistant Angela were readily available to answer any questions and address my concerns. I highly recommend him as an attorney and will use his services again if necessary in the future.read more
ebon jordan
ebon jordan
19:51 27 Sep 18
Field Law Firm was great my lawyer Zach Schmoll was more than I could ask for. He always kept me in the loop and explain everything perfectly, got back to me whenever I called less than 24 hrs and was a extremely nice guy. This guy is young and knows what he is doing so please don’t let the age fool you. I had a wonderful experience with Field Law and will refer anyone with legal matters to them.read more
Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson
23:11 31 Oct 18
I highly recommend Fields law Firm if you need some no nonsense attorneys to represent you. I was treated courteously and efficiently each and every time by Mike and his associates. They settled my Long Term Disability case in a timely fashion. and was pleased with the results. Thanks again Mike and Fields Law Firm. You are the best!read more
19:19 09 Nov 18
Fields Law Firm is simply the very best when it comes to representing you & fighting for your rights! They are a "10 Star" Law Firm hands down! Michael Kemmmitt & Sarah Christensen were simply outstanding to work with. They took over my long term disability case after I was being denied my benefits & gave me the moral support & law experience that I needed to win my case. They were supportive throughout my case & they will fight tooth & nail to assure your rights are not being denied. It is so rare to find a law firm that treats you like YOU are the most important person to them. I HIGHLY recommend Fields Law Firm. They are truly advocates for justice.read more
Ben Chadwick
Ben Chadwick
23:20 12 Nov 18
Michael and Samantha were always giving me updates in a very timely manner. They were very good at getting back with me if I had questions, and they didn't have the answer at the time of our discussion. They were very thorough in their handling of my case, and we received a positvie ruling due to their efficiency and expertise. Thank you very much Michael and Samantha, I appreciate all that you did to help me with my case. I would definitely refer people to you, as well as use you in the future. Benjamin Chadwick.read more
Michael Rosa
Michael Rosa
00:01 01 Dec 18
Evan was absolutely fantastic. He was knowledgable, informative and patient. Evan Sanford and Fields law took my case when other lawyers pretty much told me to pound sand. The outcome was a substantial amount of money that will take the pressure off of me for years to come. I would absolutely recommend Fields law.read more
17:49 02 Dec 18
It is very difficult for the average disabled person to battle the disability insurance and Social Security disability industries. I was very sick, exhausted, and stressed out about being denied and told that I can work by someone who doesn't even know me! The paperwork was daunting and had to be filled out multiple times. I chose Field's Law Firm after finding them online. They took over my claims and handled all of the paperwork and appeals that were necessary. They even went to a hearing with me to the Social Security Judge. Field's also kept me in the loop every step of the way. This allowed me to focus more on myself and greatly reduced my financial anxiety. They don't get paid unless you get paid. You truly have nothing to lose and everything to gain! I am truly appreciative of Field's Law Firm!read more
Raphael Roe
Raphael Roe
00:35 04 Dec 18
I had the pleasure of working with Patrick Kramer for my LTD appeal. He walked me through the entire process and answered all my questions. Patrick called me anytime there was new information and went above and beyond what I expected. It was one of the most stress free processes I’ve had to deal with thanks to the team at Field’s! Thank you for all your hard work! -Michael Roe, Monroe, MIread more
Donna Williams
Donna Williams
19:07 06 Dec 18
My attorney, Blake Bauer and paralegal, Samantha Kurschner are wonderful. Whenever I need to speak with one of them, they are always available. If I have to leave a message, my call is promptly returned. They worked diligently on my case and won my LTD claim. I highly recommend Fields Law Firm.read more
Lori Anderson
Lori Anderson
20:33 04 Dec 18
Jodie has been a wonderful person and on top of my social security disability claim. The attorneys are great and very thorough with what they do. Would recommend Fielsd Law Firm to everyone. Thank you for everything you have done for me.
Todd Burge
Todd Burge
15:40 11 Dec 18
I worked with Attorney Hans Lodge on a large debt collection from a creditor. He was able to determine that there was a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and swiftly moved into legal action. This whole matter was completely and quickly resolved within a couple of months. This whole situation could not have turned out any better on my end. I highly recommend working with Hans or any of the attorneys at Fields Law Firm!read more
John Notaro
John Notaro
05:09 09 Jan 19
Fields law represented me with class and always had the answers I needed to know every step of the way. Patrick and Jodie always kept me informed when there were updates to my case with a phone call. I can't recommend Fields law enough. I know I couldn't have won my case without the hard work of their entire team. Thank you all and most importantly how you changed my life for the better.read more
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