When you receive bad news, your first impulse might be to give up. However, when your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is rejected, you can appeal. The next steps you take may depend on which of the two kinds of SSDI appeal you need to file.
The Basics of Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
SSDI benefits may be paid to someone unable to continue working because of a physical or mental condition.
Not everyone with a serious condition qualifies for SSDI Benefits. In fact, the rejection rate is high, with more than 50% of first-time applications being denied.
When you receive a rejection letter, read it carefully and share it with your disability attorney. Time is of the essence here because you have only a short time to file your Request for Reconsideration.
If the Request for Reconsideration is denied, you may ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Denied again? You can ask for the Appeals Council to review your claim.
Finally, you may have to file a case in your local federal court.
Two Kinds of Appeal
There are four stages of appeal. However, there are two types of appeal that you may face:
- Appealing a Medical Decision. If your claim was denied for medical reasons, you could appeal that decision. Perhaps the SSA caseworker did not have enough proof that you have a serious medical condition that meets the SSA definition of disability.
- Appealing a Non-Medical Decision. Claim applications may be denied for other, non-medical reasons, like:
- You were also denied another benefit, like retirement;
- The SSA determined that you haven’t worked long enough to qualify for SSDI;
- You disagree with an overpayment the SSA feels you received.
The SSA sends a letter to applicants telling them whether their claim was approved or denied. Read this letter carefully, then make sure your attorney has a copy. The letter states why your request for benefits was denied. As soon as you know the reason, you and your attorney will know how to proceed and which of the two kinds of SSDI appeal you need.
A Disability Attorney Can Help with Your SSDI Appeal
From application to the final stages of an appeal, a lawyer with disability experience can help you navigate the SSA’s complicated rules and requirements. Make sure you get the help you need to get the benefits you deserve.
For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security attorney, consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. Call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients through Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.