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

What do you do if your Social Security Disability or SSI Claim is denied?

There is really no satisfactory answer to this question other than to appeal if your claim is denied. An appeal can be initiated by either contacting the social security administration (SSA), or by contacting your disability attorney if you are represented.

If you are represented by an attorney who specializes in SSD and SSI cases, your first action following a "notice of disapproved claim" (the denial notice) should be to contact the attorney.

SSA, if it has record of your attorney (and this would be the case if you have signed an appointment of representative form, SSA-1696, with the attorney and this form was then submitted to SSA by the attorney's office), will know to send the attorney a copy of the denial notice. However, the claimant who receives notification of a denial should always immediately contact their attorney for three reasons:

1) Sometimes, the social security administration will fail to notify one (or even both parties) of the denial action;

2) Sometimes, the notice will get lost in the mail;

3) Sometimes the claimant will get the notice of denial days before the attorney receives his or her copy.

After a disability attorney becomes aware of a denial, they will submit the appropriate appeal request, either on paper forms or online using the SSA website.

If the claim has been denied at the initial claim, or application, level, the attorney will submit what is known as a request for reconsideration. The reconsideration appeal will be sent to the social security office where the application was filed.

From there, it will be forwarded back to the same agency that made the decision on the application. In most states, this agency will be known as DDS, or disability determination services. At DDS, the claim will be assigned to a second disability examiner.

This type of appeal involves a process that is identical to what happens on the initial claim. The only substantial difference is that the reconsideration will be handled by a different disability examiner than the examiner who handled the case on the initial claim.

Other than that, the process is no different, aside from the fact that the reconsideration may not take as much time to process as the initial claim (because the medical records will have already been gathered for the initial claim and will be in the file and the initial claim decision will have occurred relatively recently, thus making all the case evidence still usable).

continued at: What Happens if a Social Security Disability or SSI Claims gets Denied on a Reconsideration Appeal?

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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.