The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) may reject disability claims for a variety of reasons. If your disability claim was rejected, you can file an appeal. A Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm can help submit the necessary paperwork and meet any deadlines that apply to your case.
Reasons for a Denial of Disability Claims
The SSA may have denied your Disability claim for different reasons. Even a minor clerical error can negatively affect a claim. Here are some of the things that can lead to a denial of benefits:
Lack of Medical Evidence
You must show that you have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. If your medical records lack evidence to prove the type or severity of your condition, you may receive a denial of benefits.
Lack of Work Credits
You must have worked recently enough and earned a certain amount of income to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This is true even if you are self-employed. Generally, you must earn 40 work credits to receive benefits.
The criteria for work credits change every year, as well. Furthermore, the age at which your disability occurred also affects your work credits.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits is fraught with bureaucracy. You have to fill out the correct forms and submit ample documentation of your medical condition, work history, and earnings. What seems like a small clerical error can cost you your disability benefits.
Types of SSA Disability Benefits
It’s important to understand the difference between the two types of SSA Disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In some cases, you may be able to claim both types of benefits.
To receive SSDI, you must have worked long enough, recently enough, and paid Social Security taxes on your income. Certain family members may also qualify for SSDI, including:
- Divorced spouses
- Children, including adult children who developed a disability before the age of 22
Various factors can affect family members’ eligibility, such as their age and whether they are receiving other disability benefits.
SSI is available for adults and children with a disability or blindness who earn no more than a certain amount of income or resources.
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Appealing a Decision
The appeals process involves its own criteria and paperwork, which can prove overwhelming for applicants with a disability. Our law firm can handle your appeal so you can focus on your health.
We can navigate your case through the four stages of the appeals process:
The first stage of appealing a denial of disability benefits involves requesting a reconsideration of the SSA’s original decision. Someone who did not work on your original claim will complete a review of your claim.
We can also help submit any new evidence to support your claim for disability benefits.
Hearing With an Administrative Law Judge
If the SSA upholds its original decision, we can then request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You can request an in-person hearing or a video hearing.
Our legal team can prepare you for either type of hearing and explain what to expect during the process.
Review by the Appeals Council
You can request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. This department may send your request for review back to the ALJ or make a decision on its own.
Federal Court Review
If all else fails, you can request a review with the federal court. We can help you file this request and prepare you for the review.
How Long You Have to Appeal a Decision
You do not have unlimited time to appeal a denial of disability benefits—you only have 60 days to submit a written request for reconsideration. These 60 days begin counting down from the time you receive notice of your denied claim.
Our firm can begin working on your appeal immediately to help you meet this deadline. We can streamline the process and make ourselves available to answer any questions you have along the way. The sooner you reach out to us, the better we can help you.
Work With Our Social Security Disability Lawyers if You Received a Denial of Benefits
We understand how frustrating it can be to receive a denial of disability benefits. Medical bills start piling up, and without enough income, you and your family can easily experience financial hardship. You do not have to give up after receiving a denial. You have the right to appeal the decision, and our legal team can help.
When we take on your case, we can give it the personal attention it deserves while making ourselves available to provide updates and explain the process along the way. Let Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC handle your case so you can focus on your health and family.