How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Disability appeals should be filed nearly everytime, and quickly
A page provided by an online publisher makes some very good points about appealing a Disability Denial of Social Security Benefits. It also makes some flubs and gives out some fairly useless advice about appealing a social security denial.
Where do I begin? One line of the page says (I'm paraphrasing) "If you don't truly have a condition that qualifies for disability benefits, don't waste your time by filing an appeal".
I have to admit I'm flumoxxed by this statement. How is a disability claimant supposed to discern whether or not they truly qualify for disability according to the rules of the social security administration when social security does not make an attempt to explain to claimants how the system works and what the various requirements for approval are? And why should they assume, if they've been denied for disability that the decision was a good one when so many claims that are appealed are later approved, i.e. the denials are overturned?
Here's the truth of the matter: if you get denied for disability, either SSD or SSI, you should appeal. Because though most claims get denied early in the process, the majority of claims that are appealed to the disability hearing level are also approved. It would be foolish to simply assume that a denial on a claim was made accurately and a claimant should never accept a denial on an initial claim as the final word. In fact, it's the rare instance in which appealing a disability denial will not make the most sense.
Another statement made by the publisher's page that I'd like to take issue with is this (again, I'm paraphrasing): "In many instances, your disability appeal should only require explaining why the information you originally presented on your disability application really does qualify you for disability benefits".
From the standpoint of actually having worked on disability cases as an examiner, I can say that this is a completely ignorant statement. Guess what, if you file your first appeal (a request for reconsideration) and provide no new information regarding your condition, you will simply be denied again. Now, the truth is, if you do provide additional information you will, most likely, also be denied again, simply because more than 80 percent of first appeals are turned down. However, filing an appeal with no new information and using the appeal as an opportunity to explain why you think you should have been approved the first time...will not result in an approval on the appeal.
You really have to wonder where people come up with this sort of information, you really do. This type of information simply does not help applicants and recipients. And this is why my positions will always be the following:
1. If you receive disability benefits and have a question, call your local social security office. Don't rely on information from a friend, neighbor, or relative. They won't be able to give you a proper answer.
2. If you receive a disability denial and have to request a disability hearing get a representative. It would be foolish to try to represent your own case before an administrative law judge.
3. If you get denied for disability, always appeal and do it immediately, well before the 60 day deadline to file your appeal passes.
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Tips for applying for disability
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.