HOW TO FILE AN APPEAL FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
What You Need to Know If You Have Been Denied
Filing for social security benefits can be a tedious act to go through, especially if you do not know how to apply for such benefits correctly. At Jacobs Law Office, we encourage our clients to come in for the initial act of filing the application to get Social Security Disability questions answered. Though the initial application is done online, Attorney Pat Jacobs wants to help you every step of the way.
For those that receive a denial letter, it is essential to remember that though it can be disheartening, it’s not the end. With the help of a Social Security Disability lawyer, the applicant has a much better chance of being approved once they appeal the prior denial of benefits.
Who Might be Denied Social Security Benefits?
The application process for Social Security benefits ends in a denial of benefits for most applicants. Only around 30% of applicants are approved after initial application is submitted, which means it’s likely you will be denied, even if you are disabled. There are many reasons why you may be denied Social Security benefits. You do have the chance to learn more about your denial reason and appeal the decision, as well as add any new information needed to boost your chance of approval.
What are Common Reasons for a Denial?
Benefits can be denied for just about any reason. The most common ones include the following:
Insufficient Medical Evidence – There needs to be evidence that your disability prevents you from working. If you do not have sufficient medical evidence, your claim could be denied because they can’t see what your disability is or how it impacts your life.
Not Following Treatment – If you are not following the treatment plan created by your doctor, it could be seen as you are not actively seeking recovery.
Contact Information is Outdated – If the Social Security Administration cannot get in contact with you, they will deny your application. Always make sure your contact information is updated with them if anything changes.
Missing Appointments – You may be required to attend a hearing or meet with someone from the Social Security Administration. Failing to make these appointments can lead to denial.
How Do I Know Why I Was Denied?
After the application is considered, the Social Security Administration sends a letter of approval or denial to the applicant. The letter will contain information about your case, such as the impairments considered for your application, and will include a reason why you were denied benefits. This information should let you know what issues were found that led to a denial of services and give you a starting point for the next steps to take.
Is a Denial the End of the Process?
The answer is no; denial is not the end of the process. If you have applied for Social Security benefits and you are denied, do not give up. Around half of those who go through the appeals process can get social security benefits, so it’s worth taking the time to give it a try. Re-applying might seem like a faster option, but since you have already applied, you will be denied again because you have a prior denial. Instead, start looking into the reason for your denial so you can appeal the decision and have a better chance of your appeal leading to being approved for benefits.
What Should Happen After a Denial?
The appeals process can take a while to complete. You must get started quickly, as you only have around 60 days to start the appeals process. First, you’ll request reconsideration. This means you’re turning in the same paperwork and having another representative take a look at it for you. It’s possible to add in new or different information at this point, which can help if you were denied because of incomplete medical paperwork or similar reasons. If you are still denied benefits, you’ll need to move onto the next step of setting up a disability hearing.
This hearing allows you to explain to the judge why you need benefits. There may be a medical expert who will ask questions to clarify your disabilities and ask you why you need Social Security benefits. It may be possible for you to present new evidence or changes in your condition as well as have witnesses who can speak on your behalf. Most of the time, if a claim is going to be approved, it will be approved during this step.
If you are denied again at this point, there is one more part to the appeals process. The decision can be sent to an Appeals Council where they will review the decision made in the previous hearing to make sure there were no issues. They can agree with the decision or overturn the decision and have it sent back to the hearing of the original appeals where it will be reconsidered.
Can an Attorney Help with an Appeal?
Pat Jacobs recommends that you contact him as soon as you plan on filing for Social Security Disability benefits. With his help, it is more likely that you’ll be approved. If you’ve already applied for Social Security benefits, it’s highly likely you’ll be denied initially. While the reason for this can vary, the next step is always to appeal the decision. That’s why it is important to contact Jacobs Law Office before any application is filled out.
If you have already been denied, contact us as well; we will work hard to help you get the Social Security benefits that you need, even though you may have been initially denied. Remember, don’t delay to come in and fill out your initial application with Pat and the team. Call today so Pat can help you every step of the way!