How to Appeal a Denied Social Security Disability Claim
Social Security is meant to provide you with benefits and assistance when you need them, but there are some cases in which the system may deny you the benefits that you feel you deserve. In these cases, it may be beneficial to appeal your denied Social Security disability claim. If you are truly entitled to benefits because of your physical or mental condition, an appeal is very likely to change the administration’s decision on your claim.
If you decide to appeal your denial of benefits, you’ll need to act quickly. An appeal must be filed within 60 after you receive your written notice of denial, so don’t neglect this important consideration. You should start filing your appeal as soon as possible if you want to have any hope of reconsideration. Most appeals involve a simple re-submission of the information in your original claim, though you may also have the option to include additional information when you file your appeal.
Find out what kind of appeal you need to file. There are several different kinds of Social Security appeals, and each has its own required paperwork and procedure. When your initial claim is denied, you need to file a Request for Reconsideration. If you have previously received benefits, only to have them cut off prematurely, then you need to file a Request for Reconsideration – Disability Cessation form, which is altogether different. Filing the wrong form will ensure that you don’t achieve a favorable resolution, so make sure to fully understand the nature of your appeal and file the appropriate paperwork. All the forms you may need are available at the Social Security administration’s website.
When you submit your paperwork for an appeal, you have the option of including additional information about your case. Use this to your advantage. If your initial claim was denied, and you simply submit the same information again, you are likely t be denied once more. Think about what can possibly sway the agency into taking your side. Official letters from medical professionals or employers detailing the legitimacy and severity of your condition can be very powerful in pushing an appeal to success.
There are several different levels of appeal for denied Social Security disability claims. An initial request for consideration is reviewed at the level of Disability Determination Services. This is the department that you’ll need to reach when you appeal your denied claim. If your claim is denied at this level, you have the option of going up to the next level, which will be a hearing with an administrative law judge. Following that level is the National Appeals Council, and finally the Federal Court Review. Few appeals make it all the way to federal court, but if you go that far you will need to hire an attorney.
Don’t let denied Social Security disability benefits, an ignored VA claim, or any other dismissed request for benefits get in the way of you and the help you deserve. A very large amount of appeal claims end favorably, so you always have a chance. As long as you speak honestly and follow procedure, you have a very good chance of overturning your denied claim.