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There are many possible reasons your initial application for  Social Security disability benefits may have been denied. One common reason is that your application did not provide enough evidence to demonstrate that you are “disabled,” as that term is defined by the Social Security regulations. The regulations define “disability” as an inability “to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” That sounds complicated, but simply put, if you are not able to do any work because of a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one year, then you meet the basic definition of “disability.”

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