Whether you have suffered an accident or debilitating illness and you are unable to continue working, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Applying for these benefits is often a long and difficult process. For many people, the initial application will result in a denial.
If your social security disability application has been denied, keep in mind that it is not a final decision. You can appeal the denial and, if successful, you can still receive benefits. Here are a few things you should know about the Social Security disability appeals process.
Reasons for a denial
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will often deny a claim for a number of reasons. The administration may not think the filer's disability is severe enough or will not last more than 12 months.
Other reasons for a denial include failure to provide appropriate medical evidence, not adhering to the proper medical treatment or returning to work before completing the claims process. Also, if the disability is the result of drug or alcohol abuse, or addition, then the SSA will deny the claim for benefits.
Provide additional evidence
One of the best ways to challenge a denial for disability benefits is to provide additional evidence that supports your claim along with a request for reconsideration. A simple letter from your doctor that states you are disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time will not be enough to convince the SSA that you need the benefits. However, an in-depth report from your doctor in addition to solid medical evidence could help you reverse the SSA's decision.
Filing for reconsideration
Typically, you will have a 60-day window to file a request for reconsideration with the SSA. If you file late, the SSA will generally reject the request and you will have to start the entire process over from the beginning. However, if you have a sound reason for filing the request late, the SSA may consider your appeal.
If you plan to apply for social security disability benefits, you should be prepared for a possible denial. If this happens, keep in mind that you can still appeal the denial and possibly receive the benefits you need.