What to Do If You Have Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits
If you have been denied social security disability benefits, you may feel frustrated and discouraged. But being denied benefits is not the end of the road. In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) routinely denies more than half of the disability claims that it receives.
You can appeal the denial three times within the Social Security system. The three levels of appeal are called reconsideration, hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) and Appeals Council review. The good news is that a significant number of people who are initially denied Social Security disability benefits will win the appeals process at one of these levels. Once you receive your denial notice, follow these steps:
- File a timely appeal. Don’t give up or wait until it is too late. Filing an appeal as soon as you can gives you the maximum chance of eventually being awarded benefits. You have 60 days from the date on the denial notice to take this step. Otherwise, you risk having to start over the entire claim process. Although a lawyer can help you file an appeal, you don’t need to wait for legal counsel to take action.
- Hire an attorney. The SSA rules and regulations are complex and difficult to navigate. You don’t have to do it alone. When you enlist an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, you get the advantage of a legal expert who is versed in federal laws, appeals process and can act as your advocate every step of the way. An SSDI or SSI lawyer understands what the SSA looks for in a claim and knows what documentation should be submitted to successfully win the appeal.
- Prepare thoroughly. Take time to review the decision and learn why you were denied benefits. Maybe you forgot to include your thorough medical history or didn’t provide the correct contact information for your physician. Once you know what information is missing or incomplete, gather all relevant paperwork and work with your attorney to fill in the gaps.
- Be patient. The Social Security Disability appeal process is notoriously slow and long. It’s worth your time and patience to follow the above steps and continue to fight to get the benefits you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.