Receiving a Notice of Denial on a Social Security Disability or SSI Case

continued from: It is very important to Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial or SSI denial

The correct response to receiving a notice of denial on a disability case is the following:

1. If the claimant has representation, they should contact their representative and notify this individual that the case has been denied. In most cases, the representative will also be notified regarding the denial. However, the claimant may have received their copy of the notice first. And in some cases, the social security administration will fail to notify either the claimant or their representative. For this reason, when correspondence from SSA has been received it is always a good idea for the claimant to contact their disability attorney or non-attorney representative simply to ensure that both parties know exactly what is going on with the case.

2. If the claimant does not have representation, they should immediately contact SSA (their local social security office is preferable) and request that appeal forms be sent to them OR the claimant should go online to the social security administration's website and file an appeal online. Getting the appeal process started is very important. SSA gives claimants 60 days to file appeals. And for appeals that are submitted on paper (versus online), the social security administration allows an extra five days for mailing time.

However, despite having 65 days in which to submit an appeal for a denial on an SSD or SSI claim...many claimants miss the deadline. Why? Sometimes, the answer is procrastination. But sometimes the individual may have conditions that interfere with their ability to get things done on a timely basis such as memory loss, or depression or anxiety, or even physical issues involving mobility or pain. Individuals in these situations often benefit from having a disability representative simply to ensure that deadlines are properly met. However, there is another reason for having a disability lawyer and that is number 3 on this list.

3. If the claimant does not have representation at the time that they receive a notice of denial, they should seriously consider getting representation. This is because those who are denied on a disability application and wisely choose to file the first appeal, the request for reconsideration, will stand an 85-87 percent chance of being denied on their reconsideration appeal. Reconsiderations are not generally a good opportunity for claimants to be approved. However, individuals who complete the reconsideration stage are then allowed to file the next appeal, which is a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

The social security hearing presents, for those who have representation, a greater-than-sixty-percent chance of being approved for benefits. And this is, of course, why it is very important to appeal a denial of an SSI or SSD disability application--because starting the appeals process can eventually lead to a hearing where the chances of receiving an approval are actually fairly high.

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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