Can I improve my chances of winning disability in California?

When it comes to SSD and SSI cases, there are a whole host of mistakes that many individuals make. And, for this reason, I'm devoting several pages of this blog to listing the various mistakes that a claimant should avoid making, in order to better their chances of being approved, either at the beginning of the process, or somewhere along the line in the appeals process.

This is number seven in our list of mistakes not to make on a Social Security Disability or SSI claim. Don't assume that you can't improve your chances of winning disability.


1. Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial
2. Avoiding Mistakes to get your Disability Claim Approved
3. Mistakes made by disability lawyers
4. When submitting Medical Records for disability, don't make this mistake

If you filed for Social Security Disability or SSI, you can improve your chances of winning disability benefits in a number of simple ways.

One way is to file an appeal after you have been denied. This sounds simple enough, of course. However, a large number of claimants will choose to start over with a new disability applicationinstead of an appeal and many claimants will lose the opportunity to appeal by not paying attention to their disability appeal deadline.

In almost every case, it will be to a claimant's advantage to file an appeal versus filing a new application in California. And to avoid getting past the appeal deadline (which is sixty days from the date of your last denial), an applicant for Social Security Disability or SSI should request an appeal almost immediately after receiving a notice of denial.

How do you request an appeal if you have been denied on a disability claim? Call the social security office and advise them that you wish to appeal. This will record your timely request (within the deadline) for an appeal. Soon after, you should receive the appropriate appeal forms in the mail which you should complete and mail back to the social security office. Of course, if you have a disability attorney at this point, your appeal paperwork will be completed by your attorney. And, in fact, it is very common for disability claimants to seek an attorney at this point (after a denial notice has been received).

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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