When you are dealing with a long-term injury or illness that keeps you from working, you are not only stressed out about recovering. You most likely also are feeling the financial strain of covering medical bills while also being out of work, waiting for your Social Security benefits claim to come through.
However, when you finally receive notice about your claim, don’t be surprised if Social Security denies your benefits. About 70% of all first-application disability claims are denied. Even one or two mistakes on an application can lead to a claim denial.
What to do about a denied claim
If your disability benefits claim has been denied, seek out the assistance of an experienced Social Security disability claims attorney. An attorney can help with the paperwork for an appeal. An experienced Social Security claims attorney understands the documentation needed for a successful disability claim and likely can pinpoint why your first claim was denied.
Your claim denial could have been for several reasons:
- You didn’t present enough medical evidence of your disability.
- You didn’t follow your doctor-prescribed treatment plan.
- You returned to work before proving your disability.
- You didn’t file the paperwork correctly.
Your attorney may have your doctor write a better report about your injury or illness, detailing how it prevents you from working and what you can do despite your disability.
Your attorney also can ensure that you file your appeal before the set deadline from the Social Security Administration. Missing a deadline can ensure another benefit denial.
What happens after an attorney files an appeal
After your attorney has filed an appeal in your Social Security disability claim, you may have your case:
- presented at an administrative judge law hearing
- heard an appeals council proceeding
- heard in federal court (if you file a federal lawsuit)
Dealing with a Social Security disability claim is complex. Having an experienced attorney helping you through the process will take some pressure off you. Plus, you’ll also have the best chance of eventually getting your disability benefits approved.