Should you File Your SSD Disability Appeal Online?

The majority of applicants for SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) benefits and SSI benefits are denied for disability. What should an applicant do in the event that a notice of denial is received? Here's a short list addressing that answer.

1. An individual who has received a notice of denial should contact their local social security office and request an appeal immediately.

2. If they have a disability representative, they should contact their disability attorney (or non attorney claimant's representative) and notify them that a denial notice has been received. Will your attorney be notified of your denial by social security? In most cases, yes. However, it happens too frequently that the social security administration drops the ball on this issue and fails to notify one or both parties. So, to cover yourself in the event that your representative does not receive his or her copy of the denial notice, give your representative a call and notify them.

3. If you are not represented by someone, either file your appeal paperwork as soon as it arrives in the mail, or seek out a representative and have them file a disability appeal for you.

Now, should you file your disability appeal online? Here's my answer: probably not. Why? My reasoning is simple and practical. If you get denied on a disability application, your next step will be to request a reconsideration (this is the first appeal). However, reconsiderations get denied at the rate of 81%. This means that most claimants who get denied on a disability application will not only have to file a request for reconsideration, they will also have to file a request for a hearing (the second appeal). And a disability hearing is not something that any claimant should go to without the benefit of representation.

Viewed logically, if you apply for disability and get denied, you may as well find a qualified representative to handle your case. And doing so will eliminate any need to file an appeal on your own, including filing one online.

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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