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SSDI Denial in January, what should I do?

Is it time to fight the SSDI denial?


Many Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants are shocked to find that not every applicant is immediately approved for disability benefits. You may be one of those who believed that just because you have been contributing to into the SSA system that if you were to become disabled you would submit your application and a few weeks later the money would appear in your bank account.

Unfortunately, SSDI is not like SSA retirement. It is not an entitlement program, but rather an insurance program, and there are very specific requirements which must be met to be approved. Recently on our disability forum we had an applicant ask, “If my SSDI application was denied in January, what are my options?”


Denied, Can I appeal the denial?


The good news is the Social Security Administration (SSA) does have an appeals process for claimants who have been denied SSDI or SSI benefits. Unfortunately, appealing the denial is not a good choice for all candidates, and many disability applicants will never be approved for SSDI.

So how do you know if you should appeal? It really depends on why you were denied. If you were denied because you lacked sufficient work credits or you are working too much you will continue to be denied and appealing the decision will be a waste of time.

Additionally, all SSDI denials must be made within 60 days from the date of the denial letter. If you have waited too long (and if you were denied in January it is getting close to the 60 day deadline), appealing the denial will not be an option, and you will have to file a new disability application.

When is appealing an SSDI denial a good idea?


Appealing an SSDI denial can be a good idea if you meet all of the nonmedical criteria but the SSA just claims that you either can continue to work another job, which you don’t believe is true, or they claim that your condition is not severe, which may mean you just need to provide additional evidence to support your claim.

For both of these denials the key to winning your appeal is to get more credible medical documentation to prove you are severely disabled and your condition is a long-term condition. A disability lawyer can help you with this if needed.

Immediate Steps following a SSDI denial


For the claimant who has been denied in January it is probably too late to talk to a disability lawyer. Lawyers generally need up to 4 weeks to review a case and determine if they can complete the appeal’s paperwork. If the claimant wants to file an appeal they should complete the following steps:

  1. Review the SSDI denial letter and determine why they were denied.

  2. If they meet the requirements of SSDI- condition will last 12 continuous months, they are unable to work for at least 12 continuous months and they have enough work credits for SSDI, then they can complete the Reconsideration form.

  3. Submit the form to the SSA prior to the 60 day deadline.


Talk to a disability lawyer if you have more questions about your SSDI denial.
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