The SSA denies more than half of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims the first time. Social Security can deny your claim for a variety of reasons, including application errors and inadequate medical evidence.
The good news is that even if Social Security denies your claim, you can have an attorney review your case, and you can appeal the denial too. An experienced Social Security lawyer will be invaluable in helping you lodge a successful appeal to receive the benefits you deserve.
Read on to learn more about what to expect and do if Social Security denies your SSDI claim.
Request a Reconsideration
Many people wrongly assume that once you receive a denial notice from Social Security, the next best thing to do is to make a new application. If you send another application with the same information, chances are that Social Security will deny your claim again.
A better approach is to request Social Security review your initial application. This is known as requesting reconsideration. You must file a request for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving a denial notice.
A different examiner and medical consultant will review your application, but they will apply the same rules to determine your eligibility for disability benefits.
To improve your chances of success at the reconsideration stage, provide any new and relevant information, for example, any new notes from your doctor or a new treatment you are undergoing.
Inadequate information is a major reason why Social Security denies claims. Consider asking an experienced attorney to review your documentation to ensure that your application is accurate and complete.
Appeal the Social Security Disability Initial Claim
Sometimes, Social Security upholds its initial decision and, after a review, may deny your application again. In your denial notice, Social Security will list the reasons why they denied your claim for disability benefits.
The next step is to appeal the denial of your initial claim within 60 days of receiving the denial notice. Many people who had their initial claim denied successfully appeal and receive their due benefits. Involving a skilled Social Security lawyer in your case can significantly improve your chances of winning at the appeals level.
Upon filing for an appeal, you will attend a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at a specified date.
The hearing is a brief, informal meeting where the judge and a vocational expert will review information about your past work and your limitations. Your lawyer and witnesses who can testify to your limitations may also attend the hearing.
Await the Appeal Decision
After the hearing, the ALJ will decide, based on the information they gathered at the hearing, whether you qualify for disability benefits.
The judge will send his or her decision to the state Social Security agency. The agency will send you a notice of denial or approval based on the judge’s decision.
If the SSA approves your claim, the letter will indicate how much in benefits they will pay you and when you can start receiving your benefits. In the event that the judge denies your appeal, your lawyer will advise you on whether to appeal the decision further.
Just because Social Security denied your initial claim for disability benefits does not mean you should give up. You do have a winning chance, especially if you involve a skilled lawyer early in the process of applying for benefits.
Whether you have a disability and want to apply for SSDI or SSA has denied your initial claim, experienced Social Security law firm Smith Jordan Attorneys At Law can help you claim your disability benefits. Call our office today for a free consultation.