Denied Social Security Disability, now what?

What do I do after being denied disability?

If you are denied on your initial Social Security Disability claim, you are not alone. Many disability applicants give up at this point, because they do not know they can continue their disability claim.

If your disability claim is denied you can file an appeal. The first appeal in the Social Security Disability process is a reconsideration appeal.

The reconsideration appeal has a high denial rate because it is sent to the same agency as your initial disability claim for a decision. The only difference being a different disability examiner reviews the initial disability decision and this does not result in too many reversals. The only way the reconsideration disability examiner can change your initial disability decision if you have presented new evidence to support your disability claim or the initial disability examiner made an error.

The point I am making with this information is that reconsideration appeals generally result in a denial, however they are a necessary step in getting an Administrative Law Judge disability hearing in most states, so do not be discouraged if your reconsideration is denied. Going through the reconsideration appeal step, which is usually processed much quicker, will allow you to request a disability hearing (as your second appeal) if your reconsideration is turned down.

Social Security Disability hearing appeals result in the highest rate of approval in the Social Security Disability process. Why? Administrative law judges have far more flexibility to consider a case in its totality than ordinary disability examiners. And judges are not part of a case processing agency (DDS) that has a bias against approving "too many" claims. Judges answer to themselves, not supervisors. And, they also have the benefit of vocational and medical experts who can be called to testify at hearings. For whatever reasons, disability hearings result in many disability approvals.

If you are denied for Social Security Disability, you should consider the help of a competent disability representative. They can be an attorney or a qualified Social Security representative. A non-attorney Social Security representative would be far better than an attorney who does not specialize in Social Security law.

No matter whom you chose, they cannot charge any kind of retainer for their service. They are entitled to a fee only if your disability claim is an approval; so do not be afraid to avail yourself of their services to win your disability claim.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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