SSDI - Common Mistakes after Receiving a DenialMany disability applicants are denied benefits the first time they apply; in fact, it is estimated that up to 70% of applicants are denied. After the denial there are several common mistakes that disability applicants make that can lower their chances of receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This blog will address the most ones.
SSDI and winning benefits
1. Failing to appeal the denial
One of the most common mistakes disability applicants make is failing to appeal the SSDI or SSI denial. Although some disability applicants will NEVER be approved for SSDI or SSI, there are a large percentage who will if they are willing to file an appeal and pursue their case all the way to the Administrative Hearing level (which is the second step in the SSA appeals process).
The first step in the appeals process is the reconsideration, and while this will generally result in another denial, (up to 80% of reconsiderations are denied a second time) if you do get to the hearing level this will be your best chance to win SSDI or SSI benefits.
Consider, however, the best way to win at the hearing level is to provide great medical evidence you are disabled and cannot work and hire a good disability advocate or disability lawyer. Federal statistics indicate sixty-percent of all represented claimants will be awarded disability benefits at a hearing.
2. Choose to file a new claim instead of filing an appeal
Unfortunately, many SSDI and SSI applicants do not realize that they have 60 days to file an appeal. What happens if you miss the deadline? You will have to file a new case. Generally, unless you have corrected the reason you were denied in the first place (for instance you provided new and better medical records to prove you were disabled) your application will be denied a second time. Why? Because it is the same agency (DDS, or disability determination services) that made the decision for the first SSDI or SSI claim.
Filing a new claim over and over is counter-productive, especially if you do nothing to improve your case. As mentioned above, it is better to work through the appeals process and get in front of the administration judge as soon as possible. The administrative judge will be the first person that you can see face to face and give information to concerning your symptoms and the affect of your condition on your ability to continue to work or retrain for new work.
3. Claimants miss their chance to file an appeal
As mentioned above, you have 60 days to file your appeal paperwork. Although there are some valid reasons you can argue you missed the deadline (you were in the hospital or facing some other type of emergency) under most conditions if you fail to file the appeal you will have to start again.
If you have sought legal help and have not found a lawyer soon enough for them to file your disability appeal paperwork you will have to do it yourself. Since most claimants are denied at the reconsideration level you can always talk to a lawyer after you are denied and get them to help you with the disability hearing.
Keep in mind, just because you are denied one time does not mean you will never get disability benefits.