Best Tips When Appealing Your Denied Disability Claim
Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits serve as an important safety net for U.S. workers who become disabled before retirement age. Unfortunately, most claims for Social Security disability benefits are initially denied. In other words, when you file for SSDI benefits, you should be prepared to have to work your way through the process. That means:
- Filing a request for reconsideration, which may or may not include new information and documentation
- If your claim is still denied after reconsideration, request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), which will offer you the opportunity to share additional information and present witnesses
- If your claim is denied after the ALJ hearing, request a review of the hearing decision–however, the Appeals Council gets to decide whether or not to review your case
- If your claim is denied by the Appeals Council or they opt not to consider your case, file a lawsuit in federal court
Of course, each stage means additional time. So, you’ll want to make sure that you set yourself up for the greatest chance of success at every stage. Ideally, that means working with an experienced disability benefits advocate to put together your original claim or to help with whatever stage of the appeals process you’re undertaking.
Increasing Your Chances of Winning in the Appeals Process After You’ve Been Denied
The very first step toward successfully appealing your SSDI denial is understanding the reason for your denial. Carefully review your denial letter, and consider contacting your local Social Security Administration (SSA) for more information or getting help from an experienced advocate.
It’s also very important that you meet the deadline for requesting reconsideration or appealing the decision. If you miss the deadline, you can reapply, but you will set your claim back by several months and may lose out on some benefits if you have to start over.
Regardless of whether you are submitting a request for reconsideration or appearing before an ALJ, you’ll want to supplement the record in any way you can. That may mean updated medical records, the results of testing you’ve undergone since you submitted your application, witnesses who observe your daily life, or other evidence that helps show you are disabled.
An Experienced Disability Benefits Advocate Can Help With Your Denied Claim
Perhaps the most important tip is to get the help you need. Part of increasing your chances of success in the SSDI appeals process is understanding what the SSA is looking for and how best to present that evidence. Our disability benefits advocates have extensive experience with Social Security disability claims and appeals and can help you put forth the strongest case possible.
To learn more about how we can help, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here for a FREE consultation.