Monday, January 08, 2007

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

Other Posts

Do disabled children qualify for benefits?
Will the severity of a condition determine if you can get approved for disability ?
Social Security Disability SSI questions
What you need to have when you file for disability


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I think somewhere someone is reaping the benefit of lawyers getting HALF OF ALL PAY ACCUMULATED WHILE ELEGIBLE AND BEING DENIED. I mean really, they deny people in a vegetative state. They are currently denying a person that has an amputation above the knee. All his previous work experience has been in vocations that require him to stand, do heavy lifting and apply torque to machinery while standing off balance at a job they can't get men half his age to be able to do it. He has no training or experience at any "sit down" job and is only a few years from retirement. Something smells rotten to the core, it will be a year’s worth of disability benefits by the time he has a hearing and having to hire a lawyer that will get half of that for filing a few documents is a crock and an embarrassment to the system. The denial letter said it was determined by people employed by the state he lives in following rules and regs laid down by the federal social security department. At what stage is this broken, federal regs, or state bungling? Is it the rules and guidelines or the people interpreting them? Or, is there a payoff somewhere?

11:31 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home