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Appealing the denial of your Social Security Disability benefits

You've endured a major injury or a catastrophic, chronic illness. Now you're struggling with daily self care and find yourself unable to return to the same line of work you previously knew. Due to your chronic condition or injury, you and your doctor both know that your mobility and ability to work will remain limited for the rest of your life.

You filled out the proper documentation and submitted an application for Social Security Disability. Then, you waited for many weeks or even months, only to receive a denial letter back. Now you're still as injured or unwell as you were before, but with the added stress of worrying about covering basic life expenses. Before you give up on receiving the benefits you deserve, you should consider filing an appeal.

File your appeal in a timely manner

It's normal to feel discouraged or even depressed after receiving a rejection letter for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income. You may feel hopeless, like there are no options for you to support yourself and your family. Worries about housing, groceries or even medical care are common.

Thankfully, many people who faced a denial initially receive approval after appealing. Instead of wallowing in the frustration that results from a denial, you need to take action as quickly as possible. You only have 60 days to appeal the denial of your benefits. Appeals submitted after that 60 day period will simply wind up rejected.

If your denial was due to a simple paperwork error, having some help resubmitting the documentation can increase your odds of avoiding a similar mistake. If the denial was due to medical reasons, you will need to start building a case for your medical necessity.

Gather supporting documentation to improve your chances

The better and more thorough your medical and work records related to your claim, the better your chances of success. You should reach out to all medical care providers who have helped you or played a role in your diagnosis or treatment.

Thorough medical records, including test results and treatments you have received can help substantiate your claim for a medical disability. Everything from your current prescriptions to records related to surgery or occupational and/or physical therapy could help.

You also need to take the time to explain how your condition has impacted your daily life. Everything from your ability to care for yourself (actions such as cooking, showering or dressing yourself) to how your condition or injury precludes you from continuing the same job can all support your claim. The more documentation from credible sources you have, the better the chances of success with your appeal.

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