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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

SSI Benefits

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

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What do you do if your Social Security Disability or SSI Claim is denied?

There is really no satisfactory answer to this question other than to appeal. An appeal can be initiated by either contacting the social security administration (SSA), or by contacting your disability attorney if you are represented.

If you are represented by an attorney who specializes in SSD and SSI cases, your first action following a "notice of disapproved claim" (the denial notice) should be to contact the attorney.

SSA, if it has record of your attorney (and this would be the case if you have signed an appointment of representative form, SSA-1696, with the attorney and this form was then submitted to SSA by the attorney's office), will know to send the attorney a copy of the denial notice. However, the claimant who receives notification of a denial should always immediately contact their attorney for three reasons:

1) Sometimes, the social security administration will fail to notify one (or even both parties) of the denial action;

2) Sometimes, the notice will get lost in the mail;

3) Sometimes the claimant will get the notice of denial days before the attorney receives his or her copy.

After a disability attorney becomes aware of a denial, they will submit the appropriate appeal request, either on paper forms or online using the SSA website.

If the claim has been denied at the initial claim, or application, level, the attorney will submit what is known as a request for reconsideration. The reconsideration appeal will be sent to the social security office where the application was filed. From there, it will be forwarded back to the same agency that made the decision on the application. In most states, this agency will be known as DDS, or disability determination services. At DDS, the claim will be assigned to a second disability examiner.

This type of appeal involves a process that is identical to what happens on the initial claim. The only substantial difference is that the reconsideration will be handled by a different disability examiner than the examiner who handled the case on the initial claim.

Other than that, the process is no different, aside from the fact that the reconsideration may not take as much time to process as the initial claim (because the medical records will have already been gathered for the initial claim and will be in the file and the initial claim decision will have occurred relatively recently, thus making all the case evidence still usable).

continued at: What Happens if a Social Security Disability or SSI Claims gets Denied on a Reconsideration Appeal?

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