Living with a disability is far more challenging than you imagine. Beyond the physical pain and mental trauma, you have to deal with immense financial stress. Thankfully, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) comes to the rescue of Americans suffering from disabilities. But you cannot be too sure about getting a fair and full value because disability benefits are based on the degree of need of the claimant. Some cases are even denied leaving claimants in a fix.
But you need not lose hope after a denial because countless initial applications are denied but make it through later. An initial rejection is often far from final, mostly for those who appeal with the help of an esteemed disability lawyer, so you must do your best to get the help you deserve. You shouldn’t miss out on disability benefits as they can make life comfortable for you and easy for your family. Here are some expert-recommended tips on dealing with denied disability benefits.
Be mentally prepared for an appeal
Mental readiness for filing an appeal is perhaps the most crucial aspect of handling a denial. Many people tend to give up hope altogether on the first denial, but being aware of your rights always helps. The Social Security Administration (SSA) gives the claimants several options to appeal. You must explore them and find the best way that works for you. It is vital to get proof that you appealed on time. Even if SSA loses your paperwork, you will not have to initiate the claim from scratch again. Use your evidence to get the records straight and save your time for the process.
Get legal assistance
When it comes to considering your appeal options, you may have some doubts about picking the right one. It is always better to work with a social security disability lawyer because these professionals have relevant expertise and connections. The best part is that handling an appeal is affordable. You have to pay on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay the attorney only after winning your appeal. So your attorney is likely to give their best to ensure a favorable verdict. You get peace of mind about having an expert working for you without the stress of a hefty legal bill.
Get testimonials from a doctor
Doctors’ evaluations are a significant factor for the SSA when assessing a case. You can improve your chances of qualifying for a claim after a denial by providing more evidence about your disability. The process requires getting a residual functional capacity (RFC) form filled out by your current doctor. Alternatively, you can submit a revised RFC form to validate new or worsening medical issues. Further, the doctor can provide descriptions and official documentation of your condition to reinforce its severity to require financial support.
Submit fresh medical evidence
Providing fresh medical evidence can go a long way in qualifying for disability benefits after an initial denial. The evidence must highlight the changes in your medical condition so that the evaluator has a valid reason to award you benefits this time. The additional paperwork may be taxing, but it is a small price to add value to your appeal after your disability claim is denied.
File for reconsideration
The SSA sends a document stating the reason for the denial of an application every time they deny a claim. As an applicant, you can rightfully file for reconsideration to get a review for your entire case again if you do not agree with their decision. You must appeal within 60 days of the denial. You may take longer if you have a valid reason for the delay. Since reconsideration includes a right to representation, you can have an attorney represent your appeal.
Schedule an ALJ hearing
Always bear in mind that your case may be denied again after reconsideration, so be prepared for all outcomes. However, you have the option to appeal again and schedule a local hearing by administrative law judges (ALJs). An ALJ hearing entails the review of your case and questioning by the judge. The attending medical experts or witnesses may also have to answer the judge’s questions. After the case, the ALJ decides whether to uphold the SSA’s decision or grant you disability benefits otherwise.
An appeal for reconsideration for social security disability benefits involves a complex process. The best way to make it is by having an expert lawyer representing you. The good thing is that you have to pay them only after winning and getting the amount you deserve. Go ahead and have a seasoned attorney help with your appeal for reconsideration.