What to Do if Your Social Security Disability Claim is Denied
Applying for social security disability benefits (SSDI) can be a very overwhelming process. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has very strict requirements to qualify for SSDI benefits, including the type of ailment you have, your work history, and whether or not they believe you may be able to do another type of work. With so many complicated requirements to understand, it’s not surprising that a huge amount of first-time SSDI applications, approximately 70%, are denied every year.
When a SSDI application is denied, there are still options available. The SSA has an appeals process for reviewing denied SSDI applications. Unfortunately, thousands of qualified applicants who get rejected don’t try to appeal their claim because they feel so frustrated by the whole process. But if you truly believe your application was wrongfully denied, going through the appeal process could be very worthwhile.
First of all, if your SSDI application was denied, it’s important to act quickly. The Social Security Administration only gives applicants a 60-day window of time to appeal denials. Appealing a decision rather than filing a new claim is almost always your best hope for getting the benefits you need. If you try to file a new claim rather than appeal your original one, it’s very likely it will be denied for the same reasons your original claim was.
When you received your denial, it should have included an explanation as to why your application was denied. Before you go any further, it’s very important to understand exactly why your application was denied. For example, many applications are denied because the SSA didn’t have all the information they needed to fully understand your case. If your application was denied for a reason that could be better explained with additional information, such as more medical records or statements from medical professionals who have treated you, then appealing your denial could potentially work in your favor.
If you don’t understand why your application was denied or have any other questions about the appeals process, contact an attorney who handles SSDI cases. They will be able to help you understand your denial, answer all of your questions, and help you decide whether or not going through the appeals process would be a good option for you.
Once you’ve decided to go through the appeals process, the first step in the process is contacting your local SSA office to make a request for reconsideration. During a request for reconsideration, your case will be reviewed by consultants and examiners who were not involved in reviewing your original application. If your request for reconsideration is denied, there are still more options available. Next, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge at the SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. If this doesn’t work, you can make a request for the Appeals Council to review your case. Lastly, if all else fails, it is possible to have your case heard in federal court.