If you’re living with a permanent or long-term disability—one that prevents you from making a living—you can ask the U.S. Social Security Administration to provide you with monthly payments. That way, you and your dependents have the financial support you need to live. However, 70% of individuals who apply are denied disability benefits. If you’re part of this percentage, use the following guide to Social Security disability law to find out how you can appeal the decision.
Social Security Disability Law: What to Do if Your Benefits Claim Is Denied
1. Don’t Reapply
Some people decide to reapply for their benefits in hopes that the SSA simply made a mistake. Unfortunately, an identical application will almost always be given the same answer: denial. While it takes longer, the best course of action is to appeal the denial right away. The statistics support this—while only 30% of applications are initially accepted, over half of those who appeal their denials receive benefits.
2. Hire Legal Help
Before you begin the appeal process, seek out an attorney who practices Social Security disability law. Their expertise will drastically raise your chances of being approved, as they know the ins and outs of the filing process. Luckily, many lawyers in this practice area operate on a contingency basis, so they only take a fee if you receive money from the SSA. This means you won’t have to pay anything upfront, and your lawyer will be financially motivated to help you win.
3. File an Appeal
You must file an appeal within 60 days of receiving your denial letter. The process begins by filing a “request for reconsideration,” in which you may add new information or take the advice of your lawyer in modifying your claim. From there, a new SSA representative will set up a disability hearing, which both you and your lawyer may attend. The majority of applicants are awarded benefits at this hearing, especially with professional counsel present.
During the hearing, you may be questioned by a medical professional and a vocational expert in front of a judge to both assess your disability and suggest jobs you can reasonably work. You may present witnesses to vouch for your disability as well as recent changes in your disability. From there, you will either be awarded benefits or your denial will be passed to an appeals council for further consideration.
If you’re looking for a Social Security disability law professional who can help you file an appeal, get in touch with Hill & Hovis of High Point, NC. The team is proud to offer over 60 years of combined experience as well as a firm understanding of the Social Security disability system. For more information on their other practice areas, from defective product injuries to workers’ compensation, visit the website. Call (336) 883-6000 to schedule a consultation.