What to Know When Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits and Fighting a Denial

If you want to apply for Social Security disability benefits, you need information. This is also true if your initial application has been denied. Although you can apply for benefits or file an appeal by yourself, the paperwork and procedures involved can be overwhelming. Also, your chances for approval will improve if you have a disability claims attorney guiding you. 

Securing the Benefits that You Need

If you are disabled and cannot work, speak with your doctor. Your doctor will support your claim that you cannot work at any job for a minimum of twelve months due to your disability. Keep in mind that just because your disability prevents you from performing current job tasks doesn’t mean you are automatically eligible for disability benefits. It’s important to talk to your doctor about your situation to know if you must apply for benefits. 

When applying for benefits, you can have a lawyer help you, go to the SSA office, apply online, or contact the SSA. Once you submit an application, the SSA will have a disability examiner handle your claim. This examiner will collect your medical records, gather information on the impact of your disability on your everyday life, speak with medical experts, and decide your eligibility for benefits. 

Sadly, a lot of claims are initially denied. These denials have to do with the material that supports the application. If the SSA denies your disability claim, do not give up. 

Understanding the Appeals Process

Even during the application process, you should know what happens if you get a denial and how to file an appeal. The appeals process involves the following:

  • Reconsideration. You will ask the SSA to reconsider its decision to deny you the disability benefits you need. You can submit a Request for Consideration form online or through mail. 
  • Hearing. if the SSA denies your reconsideration request, you can file an Appeal Disability Report and a Request for Hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will handle the hearing.
  • Appeals Council review. If the judge denies your application during the hearing, a Request for Review of the Decision form should be submitted to the SSA office in your city. This form will be sent to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. This office will review the document and your records. Then, it will send its decision in writing. 
  • U. S. district court case. Your lawyer could sue the SSA for you to fight for the benefits you are entitled to.