Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Social Security Denial - What should be done if your disability is denied?
1. Contact the local social security office where you initially filed your claim to request an appeal. This will prompt that office to send you the necessary forms, which will allow you to get them completed and submitted as soon as possible. How quickly should you get your disability appeal sent in? There is only one valid answer to that question: Immediately.
As a disability examiner, I found that a large percentage of claimants fail to get their appeals sent in timely and many do not even attempt to submit an appeal, but, instead, make the mistake of filing a new disability claim. However, new claims are generally not the wisest course of action since new claims are usually denied for the same reason as the prior claim. To maximize a claimant's chances of winning a social security disability or SSI claim, they should file an appeal, not file a new claim.
2. If you have representation, meaning a disability representative who can be either a disability lawyer or a non-attorney representative, contact that individual. The purpose of a representative on an SSD or SSI case is to represent your claim. That usually boils down to preparing your case for a hearing held by an adminstrative law judge. But even before a disability hearing takes place, a representative has the task of obtaining updates on your case, responding to requests for information from the social security administration and, of course, filing your appeals.
If you are represented by a disability attorney, you can still choose to file your own appeals. However, it usually makes little sense to do this. Also, by having your representative file your appeal paperwork, you can be sure that A) a copy of the appeal will be kept on file by your representative and B) a followup on the status of the disability appeal will be conduted at some point.
3. Make sure that your appeal is submitted before the deadline. SSA gives claimants a very generous appeal period in which to submit to an appeal. This timeframe is 60 days plus an additional five days for mail time, for a total of 65 days from the date of the denial notice (note: the appeal has to actually be received by social security by the 65th day, not simply mailed and postmarked on the 65th day).
Despite the generous timeframe, however, many claimants miss their appeal deadline. This is more unlikely to happen when a claimant is represented but since notices are sometimes not received by either a claimant or a representative, it is always a good idea to contact one's representative after a denial notice has been received. This ensures that both parties will "be on the same page" and that the appropriate course of action (submitting an appeal) can be taken.
4. Follow up on the appeal. It is not enough to simply send in an appeal. Ideally, you should always contact the social security office to verify that the appeal was actually received. There have been cases in which a claimant sent in an appeal and did not follow up the receipt of the appeal, having just assumed that it was received and processed...and then found out, months later, that it had never been received. In such cases, the claimant typically has to start again with a new claim, meaning that many months of valuable time have been wasted.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria