Getting To Yes: When You've Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits After Your Initial Application

27 January 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


When you are disabled and unable to work, getting on social security disability benefits is probably your only choice. Getting approved for benefits can be a tedious process. In 2010, only 36.3% of applicants were awarded benefits after the initial adjudication level. In 2000, 40.8% of applicants were awarded benefits after applying, without having to fight for their rights as a disabled citizen. If you have been denied benefits and you are dealing with a disability that prevents you from going to work, it's time to find a social security disability lawyer to get you the benefits that you deserve.

After Your Initial Denial

If you've been denied benefits for a technicality, or because you were missing paperwork, you have to ask for a reconsideration of the facts. This is done by filling out the form sent to you with your denial letter and requesting a reconsideration. You can also contact your local field office to begin the process of reconsideration. During this step, it is essential to provide any information that was requested for your initial claim but never submitted. Staff that didn't work on your initial application will look over your claim to determine if the initial denial is appropriate. If you get denied a second time, you still have the right to an appeal.

Requesting a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge

You can request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge if you are denied benefits after requesting a reconsideration. If you are nervous about appearing before a judge, this is a good time to start working with an attorney. You will be guided through the process by your lawyer, and they can help you understand what is going on when it comes to the hearing. If your case is weak, your attorney may suggest ways to improve your chances to show the court why you are disabled and unable to work anymore. You have 60 days to request this hearing from the date of your denial letter.

If you are still denied benefits, you can ask for the Appeals Council to review your case. The problem with this step is that the Appeals Council only chooses random cases to review, and is not obligated to review your case. If this step doesn't work, your only recourse now is to file a lawsuit in district court. This is a lengthy process that can get expensive quickly, and it is not a step that is often used.