What To Do If Your Social Security Disability Income Application Is Denied

If you have applied for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and received a notice of denial of your request, you still have some options. The first step is to engage the help of a social security attorney who understands the appeal process in your state. It is more important now than ever to manage all of the paperwork and filings correctly so you'll have another chance at getting your application accepted. Your attorney will take you through the following steps and to a successful approval of your SSDI request.

Reconsideration Request

In states that allow a Request for Reconsideration, your lawyer will file an appeal within the time frame specified by your state. This basically asks that the application you submitted be reviewed a second time. If inaccurate or incomplete information is on the application, this review will likely fail, too.

Request for Hearing

If the second review denies your application, or if your state does not have a Reconsideration phase, your lawyer will request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is an informal hearing with you, your lawyer, the judge, and a court reporter. You and the judge may also bring health care specialists, such as doctors and therapists, to testify or evaluate the information on your application.

Any changes in health information different than on your application needs to be presented here. The two goals that your attorney has in this hearing are:

  • To demonstrate your need for the SSDI based on your current medical condition and prognosis. You must prove that the medical condition is a disability that prevents you from working.
  • To submit all medical evidence that backs your claim of disability. All medical tests and results, doctors notes and testimony are admitted at this hearing. Your lawyer will work with your doctors to get the appropriately worded statements on your behalf.

Your attorney will prepare a brief that details why your condition meets the criteria established by the Social Security Administration for receiving SSDI benefits. They will also draft a decision that the lawyer will propose to the judge.

Appeals Council Hearing

If the Administrative Law Judge denies your case, you can then appeal to the Social Security Administration Appeals Council. The Council reviews the judge's decision and can do one of three things:

  • deny your SSDI application
  • send the case back to a judge if they believe they have discovered a mistake in the decision
  • reverse the decision and approve the application

Federal Court and Civil Action

If the Appeals Council denies your application, you can go to the United States District Court and file a civil action, then an appeal. This is a long and expensive process and something that your lawyer will help you to avoid.

When your SSDI request is denied, it's time to work with a lawyer to make sure you get through the appeal process smoothly. Simple mistakes, such as incomplete medical information, could be the reason for the denial. Your attorney, such as someone from Horn & Kelley PC Attorneys at Law, will make sure that all of your paperwork is accurate and supports your claim for SSDI benefits.