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
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
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
Filing a Disability Appeal When you are not Represented by a Disability Lawyer or Disability Representative
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Filing a Disability Appeal without a Disability Lawyer or Disability Representative
If you receive a denial on your SSI or Social Security Disability claim and are not represented by a disability lawyer you should immediately contact the social security administration and request that appeal forms be mailed out to you. You are not required to call a local office to request appeal forms. A claimant can always go online to complete the appeal, or even download the forms and then mail them to the social security administration. Calling and requesting forms, however, puts SSA on notice that an appeal is being requested and also allows the claimant to ask any questions they might have about the appeal process from a "live individual".
Once the appeal forms are received, the claimant should immediately complete and sign them. Social Security has purposely designed the appeal forms for ease of completion and the forms can typically be completed in under forty minutes. Claimants who are doing their own appeal should be sure to make a copy of anything that they are mailing in before it is mailed (if SSA claims not to have received the appeal, having a copy can prevent the necessity of having to complete the paperwork all over again from scratch).
Also, after mailing the appeal, the claimant should make a followup call to the social security office within 10-20 days to verify that the appeal was actually received and is being processed. This is extremely important since there is a 60 day deadline in which to file the appeal and doing a followup can help ensure that the deadline is not missed.
Should an appeal be done by a claimant or by a disability attorney? To some extent, this depends on the perspective of the claimant. Some claimants will avoid representation until right before the hearing stage. In so doing, they may give up some opportunity to win their claim at the reconsideration appeal level (the step prior to the hearing level). However, whether they really are giving up any opportunity would depend on whether or not they might have had a representative who was determined to develop the case at that earlier level.
Certainly, claimants whose claims will be heard by an administrative law judge at a social security hearing should consider finding a representative who specializes in handling social security claims for disability. And, typically, the likelihood is that if a claimant is denied on a disability application, they will eventually have to request a disability hearing. This is because the first appeal, the reconsideration, is denied at a rate of higher than 80 percent, making the second appeal, the disability hearing, usually necessary in order for benefits to be won.
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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