Should you appeal a disability denial in Florida?

Should you appeal a disability denial? It's a valid question. Individuals who have been involved in the disability system for quite a long time, either as claims examiners, SSA claims reps, and attorney and non attorney claimant's representatives, might be tempted to handle this question in a brusqe manner. However, what many disability insiders sometimes lose sight of is the fact that for every claimant who has initiated their first disability claim, the system is not only complex and hazy, but entirely new to them.

So, to answer the question, should you appeal a disability denial?, the answer is: yes, in almost all cases you should definitely file an appeal. And here's why.

If you choose not to file an appeal following a disability denial, you will (assuming you wish to further pursue your Social Security Disability or SSI claim) be forced to apply again, that is, file a brand new application. This is, in almost all cases, a mistake since a new SSD or SSI disability application will simply be sent back to the same agency that issued the prior denial.

In most states, this agency, which handles medical determinations for the social security administration, is known as DDS, or disability determination services. And the individuals who work on disability cases there are known as examiners. By filing a new claim following the receipt of a denial, your application will be sent to DDS again, probably to a different examiner, but the decision you receive will very likely be the same: a denial.

Amazingly, many individuals choose to file brand new Social Security Disability and SSI disability claims over and over versus doing an appeal. And, predictably, their cases are turned down over and over (and over).

The best course of action following a denial on a claim is to appeal. Why? To ultimately get your case out of the hands of DDS (which has a culture of denying disability claims) and into the hands of an administrative law judge at a disability hearing. Statistically, more than 40% of individuals who go to disability hearings unrepresented win their claims.

This fact alone makes it obvious that a disability claimant who has gotten a prior denial should do an appeal. However, individuals who go to disability hearings with representation (in the form of an attorney or non attorney representative) have a greater than 60% chance of winning Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits.

...But you can only get to a hearing if you follow the appeal process which, ultimately, will put your case in front of a judge. Should you file an appeal if your claim has been denied due to medical ineligibility? Yes, without a doubt.

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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