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Tips for Filing Your Disability Benefits Appeal

Published on August 24th, 2020

There is no definitive way to win a Social Security disability claim, however, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances for success. Here are some key tips to get you off to a good start.

Submit Your Appeal on Time

You have just 60 days to submit your appeal in writing, and it will likely be dismissed if you wait more than 60 days to make your request. There are specific forms you must use at the first three levels of appeal (reconsideration, AIJ hearing, and Appeals Council review). These forms are available at your local Social Security office and on the SSA website.

Write a Letter

The forms provided by the SSA for appealing a decision only give you a few lines to write out your explanation as to why you think the decision was wrong. We strongly suggest that you write the phrase “see attached page” on the form and attach a letter that addresses the problems you see with the decision to deny benefits.

Ask Your Doctor for a Supportive Statement

Ask your doctor to provide a written statement detailing what you can and can’t do because of your impairment, and how it prevents you from working. While these statements have very little impact on the initial claims process, when it gets to the disability hearing level, a strong statement from your doctor can win your case – provided it is objective and backed up by solid medical evidence.

Be Honest

Be completely honest at every level of appeal when it comes to providing information about your impairments and limitations caused by them. While you should never be melodramatic or exaggerate your issues, don’t be embarrassed if, for instance, you are suffering psychiatric or sexual dysfunction symptoms. These are things that need to be considered during the appeals process.

Consider Working with a Disability Lawyer near Oak Ridge

While you can certainly win a disability appeals case without representation, the process is complicated, and you have a right to hire someone to help you. Furthermore, you are more likely to be successful with a knowledgeable disability lawyer near Oak Ridge representing you throughout the process. Call to discuss your case today.

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