Social Security Disability Claim Denied? How I Got Approved

Updated on July 30, 2019
Diana Majors profile image

I'm Diana, happily married, and blessed by God on a daily basis. I live with chronic illnesses, but I don't let that get me down!

Neurocardiogenic Syncope, POTS, and Having to Stop Work

About six years ago, I was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, also known as vasovagal syncope. A year later, I was diagnosed with POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Both were managed fairly well with medication. But even with medication, it seemed I was hospitalized like every six months or so. As you can guess, it didn't help my employer any to have someone that ill on his staff. But he didn't let me go, and I continued to work my hardest for him.

In January 2017, I became so ill that I was unable to continue working, much to my great disappointment. I had become so dizzy and disoriented that I had to call my husband to drive me home on his lunch hour. I liked my job. I liked working outside the home because it gave me a sense of purpose, and I enjoyed meeting new people, It also helps to pay the bills! I just wasn't able to physically stay at the office all day; and my position required me to be on site, so I couldn't work from home.

Applying for Social Security Disability for the First Time

In June of that year, I finally bit the bullet and applied for Social Security Disability. I was hopeful I would be able to improve enough to return to work, but instead, my condition continued to deteriorate.

Statistically, only about 40% of those who apply are approved for their disability claim the first time. I fell into the 60% who were denied initially. I was a little upset but not overly surprised since I had been advised to expect a denial.

Enjoying a day out at Hot Springs National Park summer of 2018.
Enjoying a day out at Hot Springs National Park summer of 2018. | Source

My Disability Claim Was Initially Denied—This Is What Happened Next

When my first disability claim was denied, I filed an appeal in the hopes of getting approved. My Disability Claims Specialist (a non-attorney who aids those applying for disability benefits) helped me with the appeal. I was hopeful since those who were acquainted with me knew me as being an honest person and a hard worker. Surely, I'd be approved this time! A little naive, I know, but that's what I thought at the time.

I Was Denied a Second Time

After a few months, I got a letter in the mail from the Social Security Administration denying my claim for the second time. I was tearful as my husband and I were desperate to get approval. The loss of my income had severely disrupted our finances, and we were in danger of having to file for bankruptcy on top of everything else. The Disability Claims Specialist advised me to continue writing in my journal to document my medical issues, so I did.

In the meantime, I continued to go to different medical specialists in my state in an effort to get a definitive diagnosis. I saw 13 different specialists in as many months, but not one of them was able to help me learn what was wrong with me. It was so disheartening! My physical condition was still getting worse, and as you can imagine, even with insurance, my medical bills were quickly accumulating. With only my husband's income, they seemed to be growing mountainous with no way to pay them off. We make monthly payments, but as the old saying goes, "You can't get blood from a turnip!"

Finally Getting Definitive Diagnoses

In May of 2018, I finally got an appointment with a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In August, my husband and I drove from Arkansas to Rochester to see some of the best specialists in the world, confident that we would finally get that elusive diagnosis!

Within the first two hours of our first appointment, I was diagnosed with PPPD, or persistent postural-perceptual dizziness, orthostatic intolerance, and a gait disorder. What a blessing it was to finally have a name for what was affecting so much in my life! We were, and still are, hopeful these diagnoses will help at the disability hearing.

Third Time's a Charm: I Got Approved for A Disability Court Date!

Finally, the envelope from Social Security we had been waiting on came, providing me with my court date for my disability claim. It suddenly felt overwhelming. It was finally really going to happen. As of this writing, I have an appointment to appear before a judge with the Claims Specialist, and the judge will decide whether I am approved or denied.

After waiting so long for this step in the process, I was terrified! I made a post in a chronic illness Facebook group asking those ladies to pray for me and my success at the hearing. I knew they would pray; I also knew they would be supportive of me as many of them have been through the same process.

One of their comments has stayed with me. She wrote that I shouldn't be worried or afraid because "God already knows the decision and is waiting for you on the other side of it." Such wise words!

My husband and I have been prayerful throughout our relationship, so that comment was an eye-opener for me. Of course God knows! And he will be with me before, during, and after the hearing. I didn't have to be afraid any longer!

Just the other day, I was thinking about how often I pray heartfelt prayers about this hearing. I know God hears me, and I know he's with me. I smiled to myself, glad to have thought that maybe I can have knees like James. (James, the author of the the Book of James in the New Testament, was known to have camel knees because he was so often kneeling in prayer.) What a compliment that is! James was known to be a prayerful man and encouraged the readers of his book to have a strong prayer life. So maybe I will one day have camel knees too!

Even in a wheelchair, living life to the fullest with my husband.
Even in a wheelchair, living life to the fullest with my husband. | Source

Anxiously Awaiting Approval

How will all this play out? Will the judge approve me, or will I have another denial? One outcome leads to elation; the other to desolation. I'm not afraid, though, because I have a long-term plan.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reads,

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (NIV)

In light of that, I know what I must do. Trust fully in my LORD and give him praise and adoration regardless of what comes. He will make my path straight, even if it appears as a mountain trail switchback to me!

The prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 55:8-9:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

What If I Am Denied Again?

If I am denied, then so be it. I won't give up because I know my situation better than anyone. I know that if I were able to work, I would—whether it be at home or outside of the home. Currently, I'm actively promoting and selling wholesale jewelry online. I am able to work an hour here or there. On my bad days, I can rest as my body needs it. But I will still continue to pursue the Social Security Disability. It would help my family so much!

As a Christian, I Will Give Praise to God If I Am Approved

If I am approved, I will give praise to God, and God alone. I will continue to pursue my "camel knees" in thankfulness and gratitude.

I am reminded of Psalm 121: 1-8. The first verse reminds me to seek the Lord. The second verse gives me assurance. The third and fourth verses give me peace, and the fifth through eighth verses tells how the LORD will be with me always. The Psalmist wrote such powerful words in just a few short verses!

I Won't Lose Hope

Whether I receive a denial or an approval for the Social Security Disability, I know I am still God's child, and I will put my hope and my trust in him.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Every time I read this verse, I find some new gem in it. Today, the take-away is—if you'll allow me to paraphrase—"Come to me and you will receive rest." Rest is what I want and what I need. All I have to do is draw near to God, and he will draw near to us (James 4:8). We will find peace and rest there.

"My Help Comes from the Lord" by Free Indeed and Jerome Williams

Please Leave a Comment!

If you are struggling with a disability, please comment below. I'd love to visit with you about it. I understand how it feels.

If you don't have a disability, I'm so glad!! I don't want you to, but I'd still love it if you left a comment about your thoughts on this article.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Diana Majors


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Diana Majors profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Majors 

      14 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      @Tracy, thanks so much! I hope it will remind others that God is with us always! I appreciate your prayers!

      @Roxie Thank you!! I'm grateful to the encouragement that Culley, you, and Mike have given me in the last few months! Love you!!

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      Wow! I loved this! U have such good stuff to share with so many. You are a light in this world never lose sight of that!

    • profile image

      Tracy Griffith 

      14 months ago

      What a beautiful commentary my friend on your life and faith in God! Praying for God's will in this matter and yes He goes before us and knows the outcome already. God Bless!

    • Diana Majors profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Majors 

      14 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thank you, Georgia!! I appreciate it!!

    • profile image

      Georgia Estes 

      14 months ago

      Super article, Diana, and very heartfelt! I am praying for a decision on your behalf. I love you.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)