If you are turned down and denied for disability
If you've been turned down for disability, that is, if your claim for social security disability or SSI benefits has been denied, you should probably file an appeal and do it as soon as possible.
I say probably because there are a limited number of instances in which it may be better to start over with a new disability application. For instance, if you received a technical denial (The type of denial that occurs when your medical records were not even evaluated. To use an example, if you were denied because you were working at the time you filed a claim).
However, the types of situations in which it would be preferable to complete a new disability application versus filing an appeal are fairly limited. In most cases, a claimant will maximize the chances of eventually winning benefits by following the appeal route.
How quickly should you file your appeal if your claim has been turned down? As s-o-o-n as possible. The social security administration will allow you 60 days in which to get your appeal paperwork submitted. But, obviously, your appeal cannot be processed and worked on...until it has been submitted and received. So, by all means, get the appeal forms sent in ASAP.
Is it necessarily a bad sign if your disability case gets denied? No, in fact the majority of all individuals who file for disability benefits are denied on their initial application. And an even higher percentage of those same individuals are turned down on their first appeal. Once a case gets to a hearing before a federal administrative law judge, however, the chances of winning are nearly half and half without representation, and better than sixty percent with representation.
In other words, if your disability claim is turned down, it does not mean that you will not eventually receive an approval for benefits. You may simply have to wait a very long time to receive your monthly benefits and whatever backpayment you are entitled to receive.
Unfortunately, many claimants make the assumption that their social security disability or SSI disability claim will be approved soon after they apply and plan with this assumption in mind. This can, in certain instances, be detrimental in a financial sense (and sometimes it can simply have disastrous consequences). Instead of doing this, an individual pursuing a disability claim should:
1. "Play it safe" by assuming that their claim will be denied on the initial application and on the first appeal
2. And make financial plans accordingly.
In other words, planning for the worst case scenario may leave you better prepared and even pleasantly surprised in the event your claim is approved earlier in the process.
Additional information on Social Security Disability at www.ssdrc.com
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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