If you've been denied benefits because Social Security says there are less demanding jobs you can do (the most common reason for denial), you'll need to appeal to have your case heard in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). There are certain factors the judge will and won't consider when deciding whether you can "adjust" to less demanding jobs.
Social Security will explain why you were denied in the "personalized explanation rationale" the agency will send you with your denial letter. If the rationale doesn't propose the specific types of jobs Social Security thinks you can do, request your file so that you can read the "technical rationale," which will include this information (see our article on reviewing your file before your disability hearing). Depending on whether you have physical or mental limitations, Social Security will typically state that you can do one or two light and/or unskilled jobs, such as surveillance system monitor, line operator, or cleaner.
If you don't agree that you can do the proposed work, you can appeal.
At your appeal hearing, you can bring up reasons why you can't do each proposed job, until you rule them all out. However, Social Security will take into account only certain facts when considering whether you can do work, such as:
Social Security will not consider the following factors, so don't waste the judge's time by raising these points at your appeal hearing:
Fortunately, there are acceptable ways you can politely challenge the vocational expert or the judge at the hearing if they say there are other jobs you can do. In addition to your age and education, claims examiners and administrative law judges must consider the following arguments for why you can't do a particular job.