What to do after a Disability Claim is Denied
An applicant for social security disability or SSI disability benefits stands roughly a seventy percent chance of being denied at the initial claim level (the application level). Why is the percentage for denied claims in the social security system so high? Because, despite the fact that the disability evaluation process is intended to be an impartial process, it is actually somewhat hostile and adversarial to claimants. And this may be why so many claimants who are denied at the application level, and are denied again at the first appeal level, are later approved at the disability hearing. The difference? At the hearing level, a claimant can actually appear in person and meet the individual who will decide the outcome of their case (at a disbility hearing, an administrative law judge makes this decision). A claimant can also compose and present (either directly or via a disability lawyer) an argument as to why their social security disability or SSI claim should be approved.
The only thing is, an applicant for disability benefits will never have this opportunity if they do not take advantage of the social security administration's disability appeal process. Therefore, with regard to the question, "What do you do if your disability claim is denied?", a claimant should do the following:
Immediately upon receiving notification that a disability benefit claim has been denied, a claimant should contact their local social security office and request an appeal. The social security administration will allow a claimant 60 days in which to request an appeal following a denial of a claim at any level of the process. However, an individual whose disability claim has been denied should, ideally, not wait more than a day to request an appeal, simply to avoid additional processing time.
Requesting an appeal immediately after the arrival of a denial notice can allow a claimant to avoid a common mistake. What is that mistake? Filing a new disability application. Completing a new disability application instead of filing an appeal generally results in the same outcome: getting denied all over again, generally for the same reasons.
To reiterate: after a disability claim is denied, request an appeal.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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