What to Do if You're Denied SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be a lifeline for those who are unable to work due to a disability. Unfortunately, the process of obtaining these benefits can be long and complicated, and many people are initially denied. If you have been denied SSDI benefits, it can be discouraging, but it’s important to remember that you have options. In this article, we’ll discuss what you can do if you are denied SSDI benefits and the benefits of hiring an attorney to help with the appeals process.
First, it’s important to understand why SSDI claims are denied. There are many reasons why a claim may be denied, including incomplete or inaccurate information, lack of medical evidence, failure to follow prescribed treatments, and earning too much income. Whatever the reason, receiving a denial letter can be frustrating and overwhelming, but it’s important not to give up.
Step 1: Request an Appeal
If your SSDI claim has been denied, the first step you should take is to request an appeal. You have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to file an appeal, so it’s important to act quickly. The appeal process involves several stages, including a request for reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge, and a review by the Appeals Council. If your claim is still denied after these stages, you can file a lawsuit in federal court.
Step 2: Consult With an Attorney
While you can handle the appeals process on your own, it can be very helpful to have an attorney on your side. Here are some of the benefits of hiring an attorney to help with your SSDI appeal:
- Knowledge and expertise: An experienced SSDI attorney will know the ins and outs of the appeals process and can guide you through each stage. They will understand the relevant laws and regulations, and can help you build a strong case.
- Gathering and presenting evidence: One of the most important parts of an SSDI appeal is presenting strong medical evidence to support your claim. An attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence, such as medical records and statements from doctors, and present it in a way that is persuasive to the Social Security Administration.
- Preparing for the hearing: If your case goes to a hearing before an administrative law judge, an attorney can help you prepare by explaining what to expect, reviewing your testimony, and helping you present your case in the best possible light.
- Improving your chances of success: Studies have shown that people who have legal representation are more likely to be approved for SSDI benefits. This is because attorneys know how to present a strong case and can address any weaknesses or inconsistencies in your application.
- Providing peace of mind: Dealing with a disability and the SSDI appeals process can be stressful and overwhelming. Having an attorney on your side can help reduce your stress and anxiety, and provide you with the confidence that comes from having an expert in your corner.
It’s important to note that hiring an attorney for an SSDI appeal can be expensive. However, most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. They will typically take a percentage of your back pay as their fee, so you won’t have to pay anything upfront. This can be a huge relief for people who are struggling financially due to their disability.
Step 3: Get Organized
In addition to hiring an attorney, there are other things you can do to improve your chances of success in an SSDI appeal.
Getting your documents organized will help your chances during your appeal. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and evidence to support your claim.
This may include:
- Medical records
- Doctor’s notes
- Medication prescriptions
- Statements from friends and family members who can attest to your disability
During the appeals process, your attorney will need access to all of your documents related to your disability. Depending on how fast the process is moving, your attorney will need to access your documents quickly. Being organized will help your attorney fight your denial and can mean the difference between winning the appeal or getting denied again.
If you require assistance with a social security disability appeal and would like to get in touch with an attorney, then click here to fill out our free, no-obligation social security disability consultation form or call (833) 613-0618.