My doctor says I am disabled. So why was I denied disability?
The Social Security Administration has a very specific definition that they follow in order to determine if a person is disabled. And even if your doctor is familiar with how the Social Security Administration defines disability, the ultimate decision regarding disability is of course made the SSA.
A Social Security claims examiner will make the determination regarding disability at the early stages of the claim. The claims examiner is trained to evaluate claims at the initial application stage and at the reconsideration level of appeal. After the reconsideration level, a claim is sent to a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Your doctor may report that you are unable to do your job. However, for Social Security you must prove that you have a severe impairment that prevents you from doing your prior jobs, AND that prevents you from doing any other types of work.
If your doctor submits a letter to the SSA advising you are can no longer do your construction job, the SSA may in fact, agree with your doctor. However, the rules require that your severe medical impairments prevent you from doing other jobs.
Ultimately, the decision depends on your physical and mental abilities, your work over the past 15 years, your age, and your education.
So just because your doctor says you are disabled does NOT mean that you will be approved for Social Security Disability.