What to Do if Your SSD Claim is Denied

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What to Do if Your SSD Claim is Denied

If you earn a living and receive a paycheck, part of your check is withheld for taxes and other purposes. One of those purposes is to pay into the Social Security program that helps to provide funding for people in a variety of situations, including long-term disability. Most people think that because they’ve paid into the system for so long, if they find themselves in need of Social Security Disability funds, they’ll just apply and receive them. However, statistics show that nearly 70 percent of applications are denied. There are multiple reasons that denials can happen, but if you get the disappointing news that your claim was denied, your first question is probably going to be “What do I do now?”

File an Appeal

The first thing you want to do is file an appeal. This is not the same thing as simply redoing your initial application. Some people make the mistake of either giving up at this stage or thinking they have to start the entire process over. However, what you should do is file an appeal. When you file an appeal, you’re asking another SSA worker to take a look at your claim. You might choose to add new information or additional documents that you think will help you, but what you’re really doing is submitting the same information again. However, that’s not the same as starting the process over. Make sure you’re going through the appeals process.

If you’re lucky, your appeal will be approved and you’ll be on your way to getting the benefits you need and deserve. However, most people will have to continue on through the process and prepare for a disability hearing.

The Hearing

If you have to go to a hearing, you’ll be explaining why you need and deserve Social Security Disability benefits to an administrative judge. This judge will look over your case and consider all of the information you provide. There are several things you can do to help yourself during a hearing. For one thing, you can bring witnesses. You should speak to your representative to find out which witnesses to bring or if you should bring any at all.

The hearing will also include medical experts who might ask you questions and advise the judge as to whether or not you need the benefits that you say you need. If any changes in your condition have occurred between your initial filing and the hearing, you can bring documentation to support that and submit it as evidence.

Once the hearing is over, the judge will go away and decide whether or not to award you Social Security Disability benefits. If your appeal is denied, your case will be sent to what’s called an Appeals Council where it will be viewed by people who have never seen your case. They can’t accept new evidence, but they will make sure that the judge who denied your case followed all the proper principles. The Appeals Council has three options: uphold the decision and deny you your benefits, overturn the decision and award you your benefits, or send the case back to the judge telling her to reconsider.

If, however, your case was approved you’ll be notified of the approval and your SSD benefits will begin thereafter.

The Importance of Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney

Any time you’re considering hiring an attorney, it can seem scary. However, lawyers are there to help you and fight for your rights, and when it comes to something as serious as obtaining the benefits you need and deserve, you can’t take chances. Only a qualified Social Security Disability attorney can help you fight your case successfully. They can bring up facts that you might not have even considered. Alternatively, they might find sources of information or experts that you don’t have access to. There are many benefits to hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer to help you with your case, and it’s advisable that you do so.

It’s clear that filing for and obtaining Social Security Disability benefits is more complicated than most people think. Not only are a large majority of claims denied, but there’s a lengthy process involved in obtaining the benefits you deserve once a claim denial happens. Navigating the legal waters of the Social Security Disability system alone is not a good idea and can lead to the loss of benefits you need and deserve. Be sure to hire a qualified Social Security Disability attorney in your area so you can have the best shot of winning your appeal and obtaining your much-needed benefits.

 

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