Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Social Security Denial - What should be done if your disability is denied?

1. If you receive a disability denial, submit an appeal as soon as possible. This can be done online. If you cannot do this for whatever reason, contact the local social security office where you initially filed your claim to request an appeal. This will prompt that office to send you the necessary forms, which will allow you to get them completed and submitted as soon as possible. How quickly should you get your disability appeal sent in? There is only one valid answer to that question: Immediately.

As a disability examiner, I found that a large percentage of claimants fail to get their appeals sent in timely and many do not even attempt to submit an appeal, but, instead, make the mistake of filing a new disability claim.

However, new claims are generally not the wisest course of action since new claims are usually denied for the same reason as the prior claim. To maximize a claimant's chances of winning a social security disability or SSI claim, they should file an appeal, not file a new claim.

2. After you get notified of a disability denial, If you have representation, meaning a disability representative who can be either a disability lawyer or a non-attorney representative, contact the individual handling your case.

The purpose of a representative on an SSD or SSI case is to represent your claim. That usually boils down to preparing your case for a hearing held by an adminstrative law judge. But even before a disability hearing takes place, a representative has the task of obtaining updates on your case, responding to requests for information from the social security administration and, of course, filing your appeals.

If you are represented by a disability attorney, you can still choose to file your own appeals. However, it usually makes little sense to do this. Also, by having your representative file your appeal paperwork, you can be sure that A) a copy of the appeal will be kept on file by your representative and B) a followup on the status of the disability appeal will be conduted at some point.

3. Make sure that your appeal is submitted before the deadline. SSA gives claimants a very generous appeal period in which to submit to an appeal. This timeframe is 60 days plus an additional five days for mail time, for a total of 65 days from the date of the denial notice (note: the appeal has to actually be received by social security by the 65th day, not simply mailed and postmarked on the 65th day).

Despite the generous timeframe, however, many claimants miss their appeal deadline. This is more unlikely to happen when a claimant is represented but since notices are sometimes not received by either a claimant or a representative, it is always a good idea to contact one's representative after a denial notice has been received. This ensures that both parties will "be on the same page" and that the appropriate course of action (submitting an appeal) can be taken.

4. Follow up on the appeal. It is not enough to simply send in an appeal. Ideally, you should always contact the social security office to verify that the appeal was actually received.

There have been cases in which a claimant sent in an appeal and did not follow up the receipt of the appeal, having just assumed that it was received and processed...and then found out, months later, that it had never been received. In such cases, the claimant typically has to start again with a new claim, meaning that many months of valuable time have been wasted.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing an application for disability
Filing for disability and medical conditions that qualify
How long to get disability benefits when you apply
Social Security Disability application denied
Winning disability benefits, how to win
Winning disability for a mental condition
Social Security Disability Back pay, SSD, SSI
Eligible for Social Security Disability SSI