Understanding a social security disability denial letter

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Waiting on an answer about your eligibility for social security disability benefits can cause anxiety and distress. Your answer will come via a letter saying if you are approved or denied for benefits. Receiving a denial letter can be crushing, particularly because the denial letter can be vaguely worded, confusing and not helpful.

Notice of disapproved claim

Therefore, it is important to know how to decipher your denial letter to figure out what exactly it is saying about the reasons for the denial. The title of the letter will say notice of disapproved claim and begin with a statement saying that you are not considered disabled according to the social security disability rules.

The letter will then generally list the following:

  • The conditions that you were evaluated for
  • The medical treatment sources used to make the decision
  • A statement about your ability to work
  • Information about who made the decision

The conditions you were evaluated for should be the same ones you listed you had when you filed the claim for benefits. The medical treatment sources may be the ones you provided when you applied, but there could be different ones listed, meaning the disability examiner used other sources.

The statement about your ability to work will typically say that even if you cannot work at the type of job you did in the past, you are able to perform other work, justifying the denial of benefits. Rather than naming a specific person who made the decision, the letter will likely say doctors and trained staff members made it.

Appeal your denial immediately

Overall, the letter is not likely to provide any specific insight into your situation. A social security disability denial can be appealed. Your first appeal option is typically to file a request for reconsideration. If your request for reconsideration is denied, you may file a formal appeal and have a hearing. At the hearing, you will have an opportunity to present your case and ask that the denial be overturned.

The appeal process involves gathering documents and evidence, meeting deadlines and understanding precisely what you must prove to establish a claim for benefits. Having an experienced social security disability attorney on your side during the appeal process can be a tremendous advantage.