If your Social Security disability claim is denied, don't despair. The Social Security Administration's (SSA's) appeals process is designed to allow you the opportunity to have your claim re-examined. Read on for 4 tips to conquer a disability claim denial.
image src: flickr
1. Determine Why You Were Denied
You should expect your claim to be denied the first time around. Initial claims are denied an average of 65 percent of the time. Claims in the first step of the appeals process are denied up to 85 percent of the time. The SSA can deny your claim for any number of reasons. Read your notice of denial carefully to figure out why your claim was denied.
The denial notice will have a description of your medical condition and impairments. It will detail the medical records and other information the SSA considered, and it should give an explanation for the denial. In some cases, the SSA will determine that you are still capable of jobs other than your previous work. In others, they'll conclude that the severity of your medical issues doesn't justify disability benefits or that your condition does not incapacitate you sufficiently to justify benefits. If there is no reason given in the denial notice, you can request a copy of your file from the SSA so you can review it and determine their rationale.
Even though your claim was denied, ultimately you could still be found to be disabled. More medical evidence is usually required, which you can provide during the appeals process. You should never give up on a claim. On the contrary, a denial should spur you to action.
2. File an Appeal Immediately
As soon as your initial claim is denied, you should immediately request an appeal. There is a 60-day deadline to file. You can take this step on your own, before you have legal representation, to get the appeal on record and get your hearing scheduled as soon as possible.
All too often, people give up once their claim is denied, refusing to file an appeal. Additionally, some claimants file too late or choose to file a new claim instead. Both of these actions, failing to appeal within the deadline and starting over with a new claim, have the same effect. You lose your right to appeal and you have to begin the whole process over again with a new claim application.
The appeals process is your best opportunity to win your claim and be awarded benefits. After being turned down once, any new claims you file will most likely be turned down for the same reasons. This wastes valuable time that you could be using on the appeals process. Found online at www.disabilitydenials.com, a person can read about ways to begin fighting this process.
3. Get Legal Help
Throughout the process, the best asset you can have is an experienced disability rights lawyer. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer will help you make the best possible case for yourself before your hearing.
Most claimants have no idea how the SSA makes their decisions approving or denying benefits. An experienced disability attorney is familiar with Social Security regulations and knows what judges look for with particular medical conditions. Your attorney will understand the right questions to ask your physicians and the right information to include in your appeal.
4. Don't Give Up
If your initial SSDI or SSI claim is denied, the most important things to do are to file an appeal and hire an experienced disability lawyer to help you through the complex appeals process. If you stay with it and seek the help of a disability attorney, you have a much better chance of eventually winning your case.
If you have been denied social security benefits, this is not necessarily the end. With the help of an experienced attorney and with an appeals process, a denial can be fought. A denial attorney can help counsel and guide a client along a successful path of winning their disability denial claim.
Lisa Coleman shares some tips on how a person can overcome a disability denial with the support of an experienced denial attorney. She recently researched online at disabilitydenials dot com how the experienced law firm of Marc Whitehead & Associates is equipped to counsel and represent clients who have been denied social security benefits.