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Denied SSDI for not responding in a timely manner

Disability applicants can be denied SSDI benefits for a variety of reasons: they do not have sufficient credits to be considered insured, their condition is not severe, or their condition will not last 12 months. They can also be denied SSDI, regardless of the severity of their health condition, if they fail to respond to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “What if I am very sick but the SSA denied my SSDI claim because they said I did not respond in a timely manner? What are my options now? Can I apply again or can I appeal the denial?”

Denied SSDI for not responding to the SSA


There are millions of disability applications submitted to the SSA each year. With this in mind, it’s understandable that the SSA has a limited amount of time and energy to track down claimants. If you move and do not notify the SSA of your address change or they make repeated calls to you and you do not answer the phone or send requested information, eventually the SSA will simply give up and assume you are not serious about getting Social Security Disability benefits.

Steps after my SSDI denied for not responding to the SSA


If your case has been denied because you did not respond to the SSA you have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to request an appeal. In most states the first step in the appeals process is to file a reconsideration (other states allow claimants to appeal and schedule an administrative hearing). To improve your chances of getting benefits after you appeal your denial you must do the following:

Unfortunately, the reconsideration is denied up to 80% of the time. If you receive a second SSDI denial you can request a hearing. The most important step, however, is not to make the same mistake you made the first time- failing to respond to the SSA.

Additionally, if you have not heard from the SSA after several months it’s time to follow-up with them. If they need more information, provide it to them. This may also include attending a consultative examination if they do not have sufficient evidence to make a disability decision. Keep in mind, your claim could also be denied if they ask you to go see a consultative examiner and you refuse.

Bottom line: The Social Security Administration has more work than they can do, despite streamlining several of their processing procedures. Do not create more work for the SSA. Although there’s no set number of times that they may try to contact you, if they cannot reach you they may eventually shut your case file and deny your SSDI or SSI claim.

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