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Appealing a Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits

Social-Security-Disability.pngIf you have recently filed an application for Social Security Disability benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits through the Social Security Administration, you may be wondering what will happen next. For every application for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will issue a written decision which will be sent to the person applying, also called the Claimant, by mail. If the Social Security Administration has granted the application, the Claimant will likely receive a Notice of Award explaining the amount of monthly benefits to which he or she will be entitled. 

If, however, the Social Security Administration denies the Claimant's application, the Claimant will receive a Notice of Disapproved Claim. If both an application for Social Security Disability benefits and an application for Supplemental Security Income were filed, a denial may be issued for one or both applications. The denial letters will set forth the reasons the application was denied, the medical evidence considered by the Social Security Administration in making their decision, and the time and manner of filing an appeal. Claimants will typically be allowed 60 days to file an appeal. This is a good time to look for an attorney to help with the filing of an appeal. The Social Security Administration has complex rules for who qualifies for these types of benefits. Therefore, hiring an experienced attorney to help with the appeal is a good idea.

According to the Social Security Administration's website, the fastest and easiest way to file an appeal of your decision is by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal. By filing your appeal electronically, you also have the option of uploading documents to support your appeal. If you do not have a computer or do not feel comfortable filing the appeal on your own, your local office can help you file the appropriate paperwork.

Generally, there are four levels of appeal in a disability case. They are: 1) Reconsideration (not required in all cases); 2) Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge; 3) Review by the Appeals Council; and 4) Federal Court review. Each level of appeal has its own specific rules for what must be done. If you receive a denial letter from the Social Security Administration, the letter will specifically tell you which appeal stage your case is in and how to file an appeal.

As always, after you file your appeal, you must make sure to keep the Social Security Administration informed of any major changes in your life. For example, if you move, return to work or experience substantial changes in your health, you should contact your local Social Security office to report those changes.

If you have further questions about Social Security Disability benefits, contact the law firm of Winegar, Wilhelm, Glynn & Roemersma to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

The foregoing is intended to be a general discussion of the law and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. If you have a specific question, please contact our office to speak with an attorney.

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