What to Do if Your Disability Claim Has Been Denied
Obtaining Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is not a simple process. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the epitome of government bureaucracy, with many forms to fill out, deadlines to adhere to, and pitfalls to watch out for. An oversight at any step of the process can lead to an unnecessary claim denial. The SSA itself, in fact, often makes misjudgments on initial applications. Just because they deny your initial application does not mean you are not entitled to benefits. Continue reading for tips on what you should do if your disability claim has been denied. For expert advice and assistance, talk to an experienced California Social Security Disability benefits attorney.
Denial is Not the Last Word on the Matter
If your SSDI or SSI application was denied, you should not consider the door closed, and you are far from alone. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, only around 22 percent of initial applications are accepted. Approximately 63 percent of all SSDI applications are denied.
Many applicants simply throw in the towel once they receive an initial denial. There are many reasons why claims are denied, and many of these can be corrected or challenged on appeal. Applicants who file an appeal and challenge their denial, especially those who work with a qualified Social Security disability appeals attorney, have a much higher chance of success than most applicants realize.
Identify the Reason for Denial
The SSA denies disability benefits applications for a host of reasons. In many cases, the denial is not based on a proper adjudication on the merits (i.e., a determination that the applicant is not qualified to receive benefits). Often, there’s simply an error in the application. The applicant failed to complete their application, filed the application incorrectly, did not support their application with sufficient medical evidence, or did not file their application within the relevant deadline. Sometimes a denial is based on something as minor as failing to answer the phone when the SSA calls to help them fill in a blank.
If your application is merely missing some piece of evidence or administrative detail, you have a high chance of success on appeal. Even if your claim is properly filled out and you were denied based on lack of work credits or lack of disability, you might still be able to successfully challenge your denial. The SSA makes mistakes, and with the right guidance, you can make sure you aren’t the victim of their misjudgments.
Talk to a Lawyer
If your disability claim has been denied, it behooves you to get professional legal help. An SSDI/SSI claims denial lawyer can help you identify the reasons your claim was denied, what evidence might be missing, how to set yourself up for a successful reconsideration and appeal, and help you through the appeals process. Your attorney can represent you at any hearings and handle the paperwork for you so that nothing falls through the cracks. Applicants with representation have a better chance of a successful appeal.
Reconsideration and Appeal
With help from your lawyer, you can and should appeal your claim. There are a number of steps to the appeals process, including initial reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative judge, review by the Appeals Council, and ultimately a lawsuit in federal court. Your attorney can walk you through what to expect at each stage and will offer advice and representation throughout the process. Talk to your SSDI/SSI claims lawyer about your case to find out what you can do to ensure that you get the benefits you deserve.
Get Help Fighting for the California Disability Benefits You Need
For help collecting disability benefits or appealing a disability benefits denial in Southern California or statewide, call the thorough and accomplished Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSDI/SSI) attorneys of Drake & Drake at 818-624-4695.