What to do if your Social Security Disability Claim is denied.
Jun 28, 2021
You applied for Social Security Disability and waited patiently for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to start sending you payments. Instead, you get a letter stating your application was reviewed and they do not find you to be eligible to receive Social Security Disability payments. Now What?
If you want to appeal a denial of initial benefits, know that there is a time limit. An appeal must be filed within 60 days of you receiving the letter stating you were denied. The law assumes you received the letter within 5 days of the date on the letter. Therefore, you have 65 days total from the date on the letter to file your appeal. If you miss that deadline, your case is closed, and you would have to reapply and start all over again.
The letter you received stating you were denied is required to explain the reasoning. Maybe you did not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits because you do not have the work credits needed. Maybe your impairment/injury does not fit SSA’s definition for disabled. There are lots of reasons you can be denied. At this point, it is probably a good idea to talk with an attorney who has experience with SSDI appeals to determine if the reason you were denied is worth appealing.
FILING THE APPEAL
The first appeal is called a Request for Reconsideration. This appeal can be done online at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal. You can also appeal the decision by calling your local Social Security Field Office and telling them you want to appeal. They will send you the papers you need to fill out and mail in. If you do this, make sure you contact the field office in time to get the papers, fill them out, and mail them in before the 60-day limit. Lastly, you can go to your local Social Security Field Office and fill the papers out in person.
Overall, there are 5 levels of appeal in a Social Security Disability case. This is just the information for appealing the first denial. After this, they get more and more complicated. Once a case gets to the appealing stage, having an attorney can be helpful.
At Pedersen Law Office, LLC we understand how confusing applying for Social Security Disability can be; that is why we offer free consults. We will discuss your application and disability and help you through the entire process. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.