Over the past few weeks, I have encountered several people who told me that if the Social Security Administration denies their claim, they will just keep applying with the same information. Their thought is that eventually, the SSA will see that they can’t work.
A Big Misunderstanding about What You Have to Prove
This attitude represents a fundamental misunderstanding about how to win a Social Security disability case. In order to win any claim in a legal case, you must provide proof in the form of evidence. In a Social Security disability claim, you must provide evidence to prove that you are disabled. The SSA defines “disabled” using their 5-step sequential evaluation:
- Will you not be gainfully employed (earning less than $1,130 per month) for at least 12 months?
- Do you have a severe impairment that has been diagnosed by an acceptable doctor?
- Do you suffer from a condition in the SSA’s “listing of impairments?”
- Can you go back to the least demanding job you’ve held in the last 15 years?
- Is there another job available that you could do?
If you can provide enough evidence to answer “yes” to all of these questions, you will win your case. Even if you can only answer “yes” to 4 out of the 5, you will lose your case. So, you should only keep applying if you can include more evidence to answer these questions.
If You’re Going to Keep Applying, Play by the Rules
As you can see, it’s not as simple as, “look, folks, I just can’t work!” The SSA only cares about these 5 questions. Therefore, it won’t matter if you can’t work for 12 months or 50 years. If you can’t provide evidence for each of the 5 questions, you can’t win.
Please don’t get frustrated when an attorney or a Social Security official tells you that you were denied because you could not answer “yes” to questions 4 or 5. They’re not saying that they don’t believe you, or that they don’t want to help you, or that you don’t have a chance to win. What they are saying is that you have not provided enough evidence. So, if you want to keep applying and win your claim, you must learn to play by the rules.
Working with an experienced Salt Lake Social Security disability attorney will help you build your strongest case. They can help you find the best evidence, answer the right questions, and make sure everything is submitted in order. Such an approach will give you the highest chance of winning your case. Please contact us if you have questions about winning your disability case.