Learning that your Social Security disability claim has been denied can be a scary thing. After all, if you're hurt or ill, the last thing you want to be worried about is going to work every day and trying to support yourself and your family. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take if your claim has been denied to get your case reviewed and possibly approved. That first "no" is not necessarily the final answer.
Steps to take if your Social Security disability claim has been denied
1. File an appeal immediately. You have 60 days from the date of your denial letter in which to file an appeal. Most denied claims are not appealed or the person waits too long to appeal (past the 60 days.) To request an appeal, you or your attorney should contact the nearest Social Security office. Filing an appeal is virtually always better (and quicker) than filing a new claim. On average, 60 percent of appeals are approved after a hearing.
2. Learn why you were denied. Some of the common reasons that Social Security disability claims range from the reviewers feeling that your disability is short term (will last less than one year) and you'll soon be able to work or the office not being able to contact you. Request your file and review why they are denying your claim. You don't want to miss out on your benefits simply because Social Security had an old telephone number for you.
3. Continue to update your medical file with Social Security. Many claims are denied because the office doesn't believe a person is truly disabled. Continue to add new doctor's reports to your file as you wait through the appeal process so that the reviewers can easily see that your health issues are on-going.
4. File the necessary paperwork on time. When you appeal, the Social Security office will likely request additional paperwork to update your claim. Make sure that you meet all of these deadlines.
While it might be tempting to save a few dollars and handle the appeal yourself, a good disability attorney can help increase the odds that your claim will be approved upon appeal. Most such attorneys, if they decide to take your case, will do so on a contingency basis, meaning that if they are not able to help you get your disability claim approved, then you don't owe them any money. They are paid from the back payments they collect for you.
To learn more, contact a law firm like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law.