Can I Be Denied Social Security If My Doctor Says I Am Disabled?

Social Security benefits are extremely important for people with disabilities who are unable to work. Without these benefits, your quality of life can be drastically reduced. Unfortunately, seeking and obtaining benefits is a difficult process. There are many regulations and their interpretation will affect how government reviewers treat your claim.

In some instances, a reviewer may deny some claims despite a doctor’s determination of disability and inability to work. Below, we explain why this may sometimes happen.

Reason 1: There Was Not Enough Evidence

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will require documented medical evidence of your disability and how it keeps you from working. For this reason, it is very important to have this conversation with your doctor. Give them as much information as possible about your disability and how it affects your inability to work.

In fact, medical records documenting your disability will be a crucial factor for obtaining benefits. Give your doctor all information about how your disability affects your life. If there were notes from your doctor excusing you from work or requesting a modified schedule, then you should include those notes with documents from your physician’s office. It also helps if you have documentation of how much work you missed due to your disability.

Reason 2: Failing to Follow Treatment Instructions

You must abide by your physician’s treatment instructions to receive disability benefits. If you do not abide by the treatment terms, the medical examiner cannot determine your health condition actually keeps you from working.

However, if you can show that you had valid reasons for not following the treatment, then it is something you could bring up if you appeal a denial of benefits. You should follow the treatment and document your progress if possible.

Reason 3: You Were Previously Denied Benefits

If you were previously denied benefits, then it is important to follow procedure by going through the appeals process. Filing a new claim after receiving a denial may simply lead to more denials. This is because the claims examiner will see the prior denial.

You should speak with a disability attorney if you received a prior denial of benefits. An attorney can help you best utilize the evidence of your disability and inability to work. By using an attorney, you are giving yourself a better chance of receiving these vital benefits.

Reason 4: You Make Too Much Money

Remember, the SSA gives SSI disability benefits to individuals who can demonstrate with evidence that they are unable to work. If you make income above a certain threshold, then the SSA may deny your claim for benefits. You should speak with an attorney if you are unsure as to whether your income could lead to a denial.

Reason 5: You Do Not Meet the SSA’s Disability Threshold

The SSA has strict guidelines on what constitutes a disability. However, your physician and the SSA may have different views on how this applies to your case, which could lead to a denial. It is not up to your physician as to whether you can receive benefits. The SSA makes this determination based on its own regulations. Specifically, a claims examiner or administrative judge decides the outcome of your claim. Your impairment must keep you from doing your prior job duties and all other job duties.

Understanding the SSD Appeals Process

Many people receive denials on the first attempt to recover disability benefits. You can, however, appeal a denial. A Social Security Disability attorney can provide you with the best chance of recovering these vital benefits.

Your attorney can help you utilize evidence relevant to your case. He or she can help you recover evidence of a disability beyond just medical records. The SSA denies many claims due to a lack of evidence. Don’t take that chance. Work with an attorney.

About Our Tulsa Disability Lawyers

The Tulsa disability lawyers at Troutman & Troutman, P.C. have decades of experience helping disabled individuals in Oklahoma recover benefits. You can speak to one of our attorneys by calling (918) 265-1404 or by using our online case review form.


    I didn't think there was a caring professional considerate attorney firm on the planet, but Troutman & Troutman proved me wrong. From the receptionist to the legal assistance to the attorney and more they were exceptional people.

    - Robert S.

    They did a fantastic job getting everything gathered up and getting the trial done as quickly as possible. Anytime I had a question they were patient and help me understand what was going on. Especially Christy and Charlie were great.

    - Michael M.

    Steve Troutman was able to get my short-term and long-term disability for me. Then Erin another lawyer for their firm got my Social security disability for me. Great people.

    - Billy S.

    Mr. Troutman walked me through the entire process. Heather was available each time I called, answered all my crazy questions, and helped me fill out forms along the way. I was never treated like I was wasting time.

    - Julia C.

    Erin and Keith were fabulous! They were compassionate, helpful, and very responsive! They made the process very smooth and painless every step of the way.

    - Valerie W.

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