What to Do if Your SSDI or SSI Claim is Denied

An overwhelming 70 percent of applicants are disappointed when their disability applications are denied by the SSA. What happens when a handicap application is turned down by the SSA? Do these applicants need to find other ways to financially support themselves and their families? If your application for disability benefits has been refused by the SSA, do not give up hope. You may still receive the disability benefits you need to make ends meet. You just need to know what to do and where to turn. In case your Social Security Disability claim is one of the 70 percents that are denied during the initial application process, keep the following advice in mind.

Reasons for a Social Security Disability Denial

If you are indeed disabled according to Social Security rules, your claim could have been refused for any number of reasons. For example, perhaps you forgot to include or didn’t know to include some aspect of your medical history. Or, maybe your doctor’s report didn’t address everything Social Security needed to fully understand your condition. In these cases, having an expert representative review your claim can help you identify the additional information which you or your physician needs to submit.

Payment Continuation During Appeal

If the Social Security Administration has notified you that your Social Security Disability benefits are being terminated because they have found that you are no longer medically disabled, you can have your benefit payments continued while the appeal is decided. To get payment continuation, you must appeal and request payment continuance within ten days of receiving the termination notice. One thing to consider when deciding to request continued benefits is that, if the claim closure decision is upheld, you may have to repay the continued benefits.

Social Security Request for Reconsideration

The first level of appeal is a reconsideration. At this level, your claim file, your statement of why you disagree with the denial and any new evidence that you submit with your appeal will be reviewed by claims examiners and physicians who were not involved in reviewing your claim the very first time. If they now find that you meet the requirements for disability, your claim will be approved. For more information about reconsiderations, visit our article “What Is a Social Security Request for Reconsideration?”

Always Appeal!

Amazingly, most disability claims that are denied are not appealed. Claimants either give up on the process, or file an appeal too late, or file a brand new claim (a mistake). A failure to appeal timely or filing a brand new claim will have the same end result: a loss of appeal rights and having to start over at the very beginning with a new Social Security Disability or SSI application.

Appeal the Denial

Many applicants make one of two mistakes after receiving a notice of refusal from the SSA. Some will give up hope of receiving the disability benefits they so desperately need. Others will just try to re-apply for Social Security Disability benefits all over again. Neither of these choices is wise.

If your application for Social Security Disability benefits is turned down, giving up is never a good idea. A mere thirty percent of applications are approved at the first stage of the disability application procedure, whereas more than half of the applicants who pursue the disability appeal process go on to receive Social Security Disability payments in the future.

Re-applying for disability benefits with the SSA is not the best course of action. While it is true that the appeal procedure takes longer than the initial application process, if you reapply for benefits rather than pursuing the appeal process, chances are that your application will just be refused again and you will, eventually, have to endure the appeal procedure if you hope to get Social Security Disability payments at some point in the future.

Get a Lawyer

If you did not have a Social Security lawyer help you with your first claim and you have been denied, now is a good time to hire an attorney who is experienced in Social Security Disability to help you determine what is necessary for a successful appeal.

Hiring a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate to help you completely understand and prepare for your appeal, as well as to ensure all appropriate paperwork is in order, can greatly increase your claim’s chances of success. In many cases, impairment lawyers and advocates will not only have a vast knowledge of the Social Security application process but might also have specific insights into the specific requirements for approval at your regional SSA office.

Appealing Has the Best Chance at Winning

It is during the Social Security disability appeals procedure (as opposed to making a fresh application) that a claimant has the best chance of winning a claim and being awarded benefits. Filing a brand new application, either because someone thought it was a good idea or missed the appeal deadline, is simply a waste of valuable time. Subsequent applications for handicap will likely be refused for the same motives as the first application. In either case, missing an appeal deadline, or starting a new application instead of appealing a denial, are situations to be avoided because they waste a significant amount of time.