Tips to Win a Disability Appeal
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not grant benefits to everyone who fills out an application. In fact, the SSA denies upwards of 70% of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications upon their initial evaluation. Many of those applicants are able to get their denial overturned on appeal. Winning an appeal requires the right strategy and a savvy legal advocate in your corner. Read on for a few tips on how to boost your chances of winning a disability appeal. If the SSA has denied your application for disability benefits, or if you have a debilitating condition and you hope to apply for disability, call a zealous California Social Security Disability benefits attorney at Drake & Drake for advice and assistance.
Make Sure Your Appeal is Timely
The SSA is the quintessential government bureaucracy. They follow administrative rules to the letter. Many otherwise meritorious appeals get rejected outright for failing to adhere to the strict administrative requirements, including filing for appeal within the time limit. You have 60 days after your initial SSA denial to appeal, and if you miss that deadline, you’ll have to start over and submit a new claim.
Understand the Reasons for the Denial
The SSA will send you a letter explaining why your application was denied. Most commonly, applications are rejected because of insufficient medical evidence documenting the disability, the condition is not disabling, the applicant’s earnings are too high, the applicant did not follow their treatment advice, or the applicant failed to respond to earlier SSA requests for information. In many cases, these grounds for denial can be overcome on appeal. To win your appeal, you need to know exactly what was missing from your initial application and how to correct the problem.
Include an Effective Appeals Letter
Your appeal will consist of a few different parts, including a small space on the SSA’s forms explaining why the denial was wrong. You can add your own letter to the appeal packet, however, explaining in more detail why the denial was unfair and why you do qualify for benefits. Your attorney can help you draft an effective letter, incorporating the new evidence you provide.
Add More Medical Evidence
One of the most common reasons for a denial of benefits is a lack of evidence. Medical records and other medical evidence are key aspects of your disability application and appeal. Your treating physician can work with you to identify useful records to include with your application. One of the most useful pieces of evidence is a written statement from your doctor explaining your condition, the severity of your symptoms, and the extent of your disabling impairments. Work with your disability lawyer and your doctor to generate a letter that fully explains your disability and why you are unable to work, and thus need benefits.
Work With a Reliable Disability Benefits Attorney
You are within your rights to appeal your benefits denial on your own, but your chances will be significantly diminished. On your own, the appeals process is complex, full of pitfalls, and often overwhelming. Your disability appeals lawyer knows the law, the officials, the evidence that matters, and the arguments that win. They know the deadlines and other administrative requirements that are so often fatal to other applications. They’ll make sure your apparel is as comprehensive and strong as it can be. Moreover, if your appeal goes to a hearing, you’ll want a savvy disability lawyer on your side arguing your case.
Call an Experienced SSI/SSDI Lawyer Today for Help With Your Disability Appeal
For help collecting disability benefits or appealing a disability benefits denial in Southern California or statewide, call the veteran, successful Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSDI/SSI) attorneys of Drake & Drake at 818-914-4055.