You Were Denied SSDI. What's Next?
When you apply for social security disability, you generally do so with the hope that you'll receive money, and that the money you receive will make your life a lot easier. When you're unable to work due to a disability, that money is needed! Receiving a letter back in the mail informing you that your claim has been denied can be disheartening. But don't give up! Many people are denied the first time and ultimately go on to be approved for SSDI benefits. Here's what you need to know at this stage.
1. You should hire a lawyer.
While you can legally appeal the denial on your own, doing so is not a good idea. If you are denied again, you'll have to appeal yet again, and before you know it, years will have passed with you not receiving your benefits. Hiring a lawyer helps ensure your appeal is swift and successful. A lawyer will make sure all the paperwork is filled out correctly and the right information is included, so your chances of approval are higher.
2. There are a few different ways to appeal.
Most people assume appealing an SSDI denial just involves filling out some more paperwork and mailing it in again. In some cases, this is true. This type of appeal is called a reconsideration. However, there are other ways to appeal, and often, these options are more effective. You can have your case heard by an administrative judge or reviewed by an appeals council. This means you'll be present (along with your lawyer) when your case is considered, so you can answer questions and provide more information in real time. Your lawyer can arrange for this type of appeal.
3. If you are rejected again, you can escalate your application.
Occasionally, even with the help of a lawyer and after having your case heard by a judge or appeals council, your re-application may be denied. If this happens, and you are still sure you are owed benefits, you and your lawyer can escalate the case even higher and request a review by a federal court. If your lawyer agrees that your case is worth escalating, then there is a very good chance it will be approved. There may be some waiting involved, but the good news is that if you do receive approval, you will often be awarded back pay to the date of your original application.
If you are denied SSDI, do not panic. Call a social security lawyer, like Todd East Attorney at Law, and go from there. You have options, and they are good ones.