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What should you do if your disability application is denied?

April 4, 2017

Many deserving people who file an application for social security disability benefits are initially denied. There are two types of denials. The first is a “technical denial”. When someone is technically denied it is usually because they have not worked long enough to qualify for benefits or they are presently working. The second type is a “medical denial”. When someone is medically denied it is typically because the SSA evaluator does not feel that their medical conditions, age, level of education, and past relevant work meet the disability criteria. All in all, only 22% of applications are initially approved. Based on Social Security Administration Data for Applications in 2010 through 2012. Most applicants must appeal the denial of the application.

If your application is denied here are some important things you need to know:

1. You have 60 days to appeal the denial of your claim for disability.

If the Social Security Administration denies your claim for benefits, you must appeal the denial (this is called requesting “Reconsideration”) within 60 days. If you miss the deadline you will need to show it was for a good reason. If you missed the appeal deadline you should contact an attorney to evaluate the situation as quickly as possible. The worst thing you can do is give up and let the decision on your application stand and become final.

2. Your appeal is reviewed by someone other than the person who initially denied your claim.

Reconsideration is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in denying your initial application. The SSA looks at all the evidence considered in making the initial determination as well as any new evidence. Therefore, you should do your best to provide additional information for the SSA to consider. For example, you may want to provide additional detail about the effect your impairments have on your home and work life. You may also want to advise the SSA of any attempts you have made to work since you last completed your application. That being said, I have found that it is most helpful to take a look back through the initial application and determine whether there is any medical provider, any condition, or any impairment that you did not include. In my experience, most people are not disabled because of one single illness or injury. Most disability cases involve a combination of impairments and illnesses and the SSA is REQUIRED to consider the combined effect of all your injuries and illnesses in determining whether or not you are disabled.

3. An attorney may be able to help you appeal your denial.

The social security rules and regulations are complicated. An attorney who knows the law can apply it to your unique situation and determine formulate a strategy that gives you the best chance of success. Not to mention the fact that your attorney will (1) act as your representative before the Social Security Administration; (2) help you complete all the paperwork necessary to complete your appeal; and (3) represent you at your disability hearing. Contact Decker Law Office for a free evaluation of your disability case.