Denied for disability, then my condition got worse

What if your condition got worse after you were denied for disability?

If your initial disability claim is denied, you have a sixty-day appeal period that begins with the date on your denial letter to file an appeal of the decision.

You actually have sixty-five days from that date to get your reconsideration appeal back to Social Security as they allow five days for mailing. You can also file your reconsideration appeal online by going to It really does not matter what method you chose; just make sure to file your disability appeal timely.

You should include any new medical evidence that substantiates that your condition has gotten worse with your disability appeal. This is true whether your disability claim is at the reconsideration appeal or the Request for Administrative Law Judge Review appeal.

Now, fortunately, you will not have to actually obtain your medical records personally. When you submit your request for reconsideration appeal, the disability examiner who gets the case will ask for all updated medical records that have come into existence since your disability application was filed. So, you must be absolutely sure to include all new dates of treatment when you submit the appeal.

If your case is further along in the system and you were actually denied on a reconsideration appeal, then the next appeal will be to request a disability hearing. Make note that for this appeal, the Social Security administration will no longer gather your medical records. Nor will the judge and the hearing office.

This is largely what a disability attorney does to prepare for the hearing. They obtain and analyze the records. They also attempt to get detailed statements from doctors who have treated you and these doctor letters are called medical source statements, which can have a great effect toward winning a case before a judge.

If your disability claim was denied in the past, but you are long past your appeal period, you have no choice but to file a new disability claim. If you file a new disability claim, be sure to provide any new medical evidence that shows your disabling condition or conditions has worsened.

There is no way to know if you will be approved or denied, but if you are not able to work due to your condition, you really need to file the new claim and follow the appeal process.

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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