My Doctor Says I Have a Disability, so Why Is Social Security Denying My Disability Claim?

The answer is probably that Social Security’s idea of a disability is different from what your doctor calls a disability.

What counts as a disability can be many things to many people, including your doctor, a co-worker, a family member, your neighbor, Social Security, and even you.

If you have a chronic medical condition, you may not think of it as being a disability, exactly, but it could still qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security looks at this completely through the lens of how your health problem affects your ability to work.

Your doctor is an extremely important part of the process. But their opinion on whether you have a disability doesn’t determine Social Security’s decision on awarding you benefits.

People are frequently denied disability benefits, but if you’re able to match Social Security’s definition of disability and receive benefits, it can make a major difference in your life.

The disability lawyers at Lachman & Gorton Law Office can help. Talk to us in Elmira, Binghamton, Rochester, and anywhere in Upstate New York.

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What Is Social Security’s Definition of a Disability?

This is what a disability is to Social Security when it’s deciding who to approve for life-changing disability income:

  • It’s a health problem that forces you to stop working.
  • It’s a type and severity of health problem that prevents you from switching to a new job.
  • The health problem will last at least a year.
  • It could also be a condition that will last the rest of your life.

So this can mean many different medical conditions.

It includes physical impairments and mental health disorders. It can include conditions that are manageable in some circumstances but debilitating in others, such as diabetes, heart disease and fibromyalgia.

The main requirement for disability benefits is that the particular symptoms you’re experiencing must make working impossible.

Besides having a disability, Social Security also requires you to meet economic requirements to get different kinds of disability benefits. Those include having a substantial work history, or having limited financial resources.

A disability attorney can evaluate how your situation compares to the rules for getting disability benefits. And you can get this initial evaluation for free.

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How Do I Show that My Condition Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?

When you look at the definition above of what Social Security considers to be a disability, it seems simple enough.

If you can’t work, you qualify.

What’s not so simple is proving this to Social Security. You can’t just tell them you can’t work. You have to send them evidence.

This is where your doctor plays an important role. The evidence you need comes from your visits to the doctor, including:

  • Records of doctor visits
  • Records of hospitalizations
  • Written reports from your doctor
  • Results from medical tests
  • Lists of medications you take
  • Records of medical procedures
  • Descriptions of how your medical treatment has worked

You get this evidence by receiving regular medical care.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make if you want to win Social Security Disability benefits is failing to get ongoing care. A consistent medical history tells Social Security your condition is serious and long-lasting, and you’re doing everything you can to address it.

You can add to your medical evidence statements from people who know you personally, about how your health limitations have changed your everyday life.

And you can get a disability lawyer to help you gather all of it. Working with a Social Security Disability attorney eases the burden on you. It costs nothing up front, because there’s no attorney fee until you win benefits.

And, having an attorney can Call Us Now!

National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
United States District Court of Northern and Western Districts
Broome County Bar Association