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Home » Glossary » Denial Letter

Definition of Denial Letter

A denial letter is the letter sent to claimants who do not qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. There are millions of applications for disability submitted each year, and the SSA estimates that up to 70% of claimants are denied benefits at the application level. Claimants who are denied should receive their denial letter 30 to 90 days after the SSI or SSDI application is submitted to the SSA, but given the current back log, it could be much longer in some parts of the country.

Claimants who receive a denial letter will be told the reason their claim has been denied, the medical documentation which the Social Security Administration used to make their disability decision, and the steps which the claimant must take to appeal the SSDI or SSI denial. Claimants who wish to appeal their decision must do so within 60 days from the date they receive the denial letter. The first step in the appeals process is called the reconsideration (in most states). Claimants may also reapply a second time if they miss the appeal deadline.

Before filing an appeal or submitting a new application, claimants should understand why they were denied. Applying over and over again without understanding the denial is a waste of time. For instance, if you are working too many hours there is no need to apply again; you will be automatically denied. If the SSA states your condition is not long term or you have the ability to retrain for new work, you may need to collect more medical evidence to dispute their claim.

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