What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
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Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
What to do (forms to complete) if you receive a Denial on a Social Security Disability or SSI Case
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you file for either social security disability or SSI disability and you receive a denial on your claim, you will need to file an appeal, or have your disability representative (who can be a social security attorney or a non-attorney claimant's representative) do this for you.
If you are represented, you will not have to complete the paperwork yourself. You should, however, immediately notify your representative as soon as you receive notification of your denial (i.e. the notice of disapproved claim) in the mail. Reason: when you have a representative, that individual and you should always stay equally current as to what is happening on the claim. SSA (the social security administration) is obliged to send copies of any notices that have been sent to you to your representative as well. However, this does not always happen. Therefore, it is always good practive to call your representative as soon as your receive a written notice from SSA...just on the odd chance that the representative does not receive their copy.
Once your representative becomes aware that a denial has occurred on your case, they will (within the alloted deadline) send in the appropriate appeal forms. They should also make two copies, one for their file (this, of course, makes it much easier to track the development of the case since a paper trail and timeline can be established this way), and one to mail to you, the client, for your own records. Note: if the 60 day deadline for the filing of the appeal is nearing its end and you still have not received your copy of the appeal paperwork, call your representative's office to make sure your appeal has not fallen through the cracks.
If you are not represented at the time that you receive notification of a denial on a disability claim, then you should immediately contact your local social security office to request appeal forms, or visit the SSA website to file the appeal online. A third option, if it is convenient, would be to visit the local social security office to notify them of your intent to appeal, and to pick up the forms personally.
The most important thing to note with regard to appeals is that the appeal must be filed timely. This means that SSA must receive the appeal by the 65th day from the date of the denial notice (60 days to appeal, plus the extra five days that social security allows for mailing time) in one of their offices. If the appeal is not received by the 65th day, and the claimant does not have good cause for filing a late appeal, they will be forced to begin with a new claim (and lose valuable months of processing time on their case).
Individuals who file their own appeals will be required to fill out a number of appeals. Those who have been denied on a disability application will need to complete a form SSA-3441-bk. This is the disability report form, essentially the same form that was completed on the disability application; however, this one is used for an appeal. The claimant will also need to complete a form SSA-561-U2. This is the actual appeal, which in this case is called a Request for Reconsideration.
Along with these two forms (the SSA-3441-bk disability report and the SSA-561-U2 request for reconsideration), the claimant will need to submit signed release forms so that the social security administration can request medical records. Releases are known as form SSA-827.
Note: claimants who decide to do a reconsideration appeal online should remember to print out at least two SSA-827 forms and sign them. Without these releases, the social security office cannot transfer the appeal to Disability Determination Services where it would be assigned to a disability examiner for processing.
Those who have been denied on a reconsideration appeal and who are not represented will need to file the next appeal which is a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge. This means they will need to complete the disability report as well (form SSA-3441-bk) but also the actual request for the hearing, form HA-501 (Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge).
Again, as with the request for reconsideration appeal, this appeal should be submitted within the allotted appeal period (60 days plus five days for mailing from the date of the denial notice).
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Topics and Questions
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials