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My doctor says I am disabled why was I denied SSDI?

Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “Why would the SSA tell me I am not disabled if my doctor says that I am?”

Unfortunately, when it comes to getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration the only thing that will matter is whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) believes you are disabled. With this in mind, it won’t matter whether you and your doctor both believe you are disabled. You will have to convince the SSA.

Denied SSDI but doctor says you are disabled


The first consideration is whether or not you are disabled according to the SSA, not your doctor. According to the SSA, to be disabled you must be unable to perform substantial gainful activity, you must have a severe health condition, and your condition must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months.

The SSA has defined “substantial earnings” as generating $1,070.00 per month. If the SSA believes you can work any job you have done in the past or retrain for new work they will consider you not disabled. Consider also, work does not have to generate an income to be considered substantial. For instance, if you are able to work more than 25-30 hours per week the SSA is likely to argue this is substantial work.

Condition will not last 12 continuous months


Another consideration is the length of time you will be disabled. Many claimants with a severe health condition are denied SSDI benefits because the SSA does not expect for the condition to last at least 12 continuous months, which is another requirement to qualify for SSDI.

For instance, if you are injured in a car wreck and you have substantial injuries now but the SSA believes that in six months you will be better and fully rehabilitated, allowing you to return to work, they will deny your claim. This is true even if you are currently unable to perform work.

I meet all the requirement for SSDI


Assuming you have a severe condition, you cannot work, and it is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months you can also be denied SSDI simply because you did not provide enough information to the SSA or your medical records do not sufficiently explain why you are unable to work.

Proving you are disabled may be as simple as revisiting your doctor and asking him to provide more complete information about your functional limitations. In other cases you may not have provided enough information about your past work and the SSA does not have a complete understanding about the physical and mental requirements of your previous work. If this is the case, they may mistakenly believe you can perform what they term “past work.”

Appealing a Social Security Disability Denial


If your SSDI claim has been denied you have 60 days from the date of your condition to appeal the denial. The first step in the appeal’s process is called a reconsideration. You may submit additional medical information to your case manager to strengthen your claim if needed.
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