Understanding Your Social Security Denial 

If you have submitted a Social Security disability claim, it is important to know that more than 65% of disability claims are denied at the initial application level. Social Security disability is a complex and discouraging process so a denial should not be treated as an accurate reflection of a disabling condition. There are a number of reasons why a Social Security claim can get denied. 

Social Security denials can be broken down into two categories:  

Technical – an applicant does not meet the basic, non-medical criteria for disability.  

  • Working and earning too much money per month. 
  • Household has too much monthly income (Supplemental Security Income). 
  • Household is over the resource limit (Supplemental Security Income). 
  • Not enough work credits. 
  • Unable to prove a relationship in the case of adult disabled children or disabled widow/ widower disability claims. 
  • Did not complete claim process or failed to cooperate.  

Medical – an applicant does not meet the medical criteria for disability or their condition is not severe enough. 

  • Not enough medical evidence to show condition is disabling. 
  • No supporting medical evidence. 
  • Condition is not severe enough and could find other work. 
  • Not enough evidence of limitations or inability to work due to disabling condition. 

When your claim is denied, you should receive a letter in the mail that includes both a notice of decision and a decision explanation. It is very important to read through the entire denial letter and to understand why your claim was denied. This letter should explicitly state why your claim was denied – common denial language includes: 

  • While there is evidence that your condition causes some limitations, it does not prevent you from working and you could perform other work.  
  • Your condition is not severe enough and does not prevent you from working in the regional and national economy.  
  • Based on the medical evidence provided, we could not find you disabled before (month)(day), (year). 

If you have received a technical denial, it is going to be very important to verify the information with Social Security if you need to submit a technical appeal. Many technical denials are a result of someone working too much, in that case you will need to reduce your work hours before applying again.  

If you have received a medical denial, it is going to be very important to appeal the decision and to provide additional evidence to make your claim as strong as possible. You may have to appeal multiple denials before getting approved for disability, but do not stop trying, especially with a condition like Huntington’s disease. For many disability claims, the best chance of getting approved is going before a judge.