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What Happens If You Are Denied Social Security Benefits?

Published on May 17th, 2023

Disability benefit applications are denied far more often than they are approved, to the tune of 70%. Social Security disability benefits can be denied for many reasons.

Attorney's hands gesture to client during consultation at desk with law books, scales of justice, and gavel

The most common are clerical errors and insufficient proof. Hope is not lost, however, as applicants can always file an appeal.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes many physical and mental impairments as disabilities that can qualify for benefits. Each applicant, however, must prove that their disability keeps them from working. If claimants don’t meet the required criteria for their disability, benefits will be denied.

Filing an Appeal

Hiring a Social Security disability lawyer is the best way to have applications and appeals for benefits approved. Experienced disability lawyers know what information the SSA looks for when reviewing claims. This applies to both the application itself and the supporting medical evidence.

When initial applications are denied, your attorney will review what was submitted. They can determine which areas of the application need clarification or more detail. They will also see what additional medical records or other documentation should be included.

Your attorney may recommend specific diagnostic testing or lab work that could be helpful. They may contact physicians or specialists for visit summaries, notes, or medical treatments and results. Disability lawyers are used to working with medical professionals to get the needed support for benefits claims.

Once your disability lawyer has gathered enough information and evidence, they will file an appeal on your behalf.

Statue of Lady Justice

The Appeals Process

There are four steps involved in appealing a denied claim. Your Social Security disability lawyer will file all paperwork for you and be by your side throughout the process.

  1. Request consideration
  2. Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
  3. Review with Appeals Council
  4. File federal district court action

Requesting Reconsideration

The first step in filing an appeal is to resubmit the claim with revised or additional information. Many times, this is sufficient because disability law firms know what to include.

Claims may still be denied, however. Sometimes the claimant’s situation changes, and the case has to be updated. Other times, there might be some loose ends that require a bit of tidying.

Hearing with ALJ

Sometimes claimants have complicated cases. A hearing with an ALJ allows the applicant to explain their situation on a personal level. Sometimes a case just needs the personal touch of a one-on-one conversation. Your Social Security disability attorney will be right there with you, though, providing the support you need.

Review with Appeals Court

If the claim is still denied, you may file a review with the Appeals Court. They may agree with the ALJ’s decision, or they can send it back for a hearing with a different judge.

Federal Court Action

Finally, if a case is still being unfairly denied, your attorney can file for action on the federal level. Most claims don’t need to go this far, but some do—and win. It’s essential to have a disability law firm on your side that’s willing to go the distance.

If your disability claim was denied or if you need help with your application, we are here to help. Schedule your free consultation with Kenneth Miller & Associates today.

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