When you get denied disability benefits after filing your initial application, try not to get discouraged. There are many statistics that show that the odds of receiving disability benefits are still in your favor. In this article, we will examine the steps involved in the disability process and your chances of success.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This program replaces a portion of the income for people who become unable to work due to disability before retirement age. To receive benefits, you must be eligible, and you need to apply with the SSA.
Applications for disability insurance may be submitted by phone, in person at a local Social Security office, or online. The initial application will be reviewed by a single Social Security representative and either accepted or denied. Nationwide, seventy percent of initial applications for SSDI are denied. This means that most people who apply for SSDI are denied, so if your application gets denied, don’t get discouraged.
After your initial denial, you have the right to request a reconsideration of your application. This is the first step in the appeal process. For a reconsideration, your file will be reviewed by a different representative at Social Security. The odds of acceptance increase at this stage of the process.
If your reconsideration is denied, you then have the right to have a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You will appear in front of an ALJ in person and have the opportunity to present your case to the judge. Be sure to bring any and all current medical information and any witnesses that can vouch for your disability to the hearing. Most, but not all disability claims are approved at the ALJ level of the appeals process.
If the ALJ denies your claim for disability benefits, you may request a third appeal. During this step, the Social Security Appeals Council will review the ALJ’s decision. If the ALJ missed any evidence during the hearing, the Appeals Council will catch it during their review.
The last step to take during the appeals process is to take your case to Federal District Court. The court will review your case and provide you an opportunity to present new evidence. If you win your case at this level, the government will pay for any attorney’s fees you have accrued.
As you can see, a denial of an initial SSDI application is not the end of your disability case. Each step in the appeals process increases your chances of a successful claim. The best way to navigate the complex process of SSDI claims and appeals is to consult a disability professional. Someone who deals with the paperwork and processes involved in a disability case on a daily basis can greatly increase your chances of success.