The Social Security Administration could deny your Social Security disability claim for many reasons. Many factors go into the evaluation of a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. Each program has strict qualifications, and Disability Determination Services (DDS) rejects most initial applicants.
A Social Security Disability attorney will review your denial notice, claim information, and relevant records. Then, they may request reconsideration or file an appeal on your behalf. This process is the best way to learn why your Social Security Disability claim was denied in North Carolina.
Common Reasons for SSDI and SSI Claim Denial
When you file a disability claim, DDS assigns it to an examiner. DDS tasks the examiner with obtaining your records and evaluating your qualifications for the program you applied to receive. You’ll receive a letter once they’ve decided on your claim.
All too often, this letter explains they have denied your claim for benefits. While the Social Security Administration says this letter “explains the determination,” it is usually still unclear why you did not get approved. However, some common reasons why initial claims get denied include:
- You made a minor error on the application, such as skipping a question
- The medical evidence you submitted did not meet the standard necessary to prove your disability
- Your doctor did not respond to their request for information
- Your income exceeded the limits for SSI or the current substantial gainful activity limit for SSDI
- The examiner made an error, such as overlooking key evidence
It is noteworthy that DDS denies more than half of all initial claims. Many applicants get the benefits they need through a reconsideration, appeal, or reapplying later. A North Carolina disability attorney with our firm could help you better understand what happened based on the denial letter and a review of your initial claim.
Fighting for Your Social Security Disability Benefits
Once your disability lawyer reviews your claim and identifies the reasons for the denial, they will discuss your options and next steps with you. For example, you could appeal the decision with their help. To do this, they will carefully follow the rules set out by the Social Security Administration.
Keep in mind that you might only have up to 60 days after the date on your determination notice to decide what to do when your claim is denied. Do not wait too long and miss this opportunity. You do not want to have to start over and put your claim in the back of the line for consideration—especially since there is often a backlog of applicants awaiting their initial determination.
The Four Levels of the Appeals Process
If your lawyer determines that you qualify for benefits, they’ll next explain the four levels of appeal:
- An administrative law judge hearing
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal court review
Depending on the reason for your denial, your attorney may suggest taking additional steps to strengthen your claim before reconsideration or a hearing. For example, they may gather evidence to support your diagnosis, obtain additional medical records, or take other actions.
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Proving Your Disability Qualifies You for SSDI or SSI
Suppose the examiner denied your application for lack of sufficient medical evidence. In that case, it might be easier to submit records independently rather than rely on your doctor to work with the examiner when contacted. You might have to request:
- All relevant records
- Opinions from specialists
- Doctors’ notes
- Medical imaging and clinical results
- Information about your treatments and outcomes
You may need to see another doctor for additional testing or evaluation in some cases. Again, your attorney will offer advice and guide you through this process.
Getting Help With Your Disability Claim
Suppose you are contemplating filing your initial claim for disability benefits or have already filed your claim but were denied. In that case, you might want to consider enlisting the help of an attorney from our North Carolina firm who regularly reviews these applications and handles appeals.
If you received a denial, your disability lawyer would review your claim and supporting documents before filing or managing your appeal. They know what it takes to get approved for benefits and will put you in the best position to receive monthly cash payments and backpay.
Social Security Disability attorneys often work based on contingency, meaning you pay nothing upfront to hire a legal team to represent you. They only get paid if you receive benefits following an appeal.
Speak to a North Carolina Social Security Disability Attorney for Free
If you received a denial notice based on your initial claim for SSDI or SSI, a Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, team member would review your options with you today. We will determine why DDS denied your Social Security Disability claim and discuss your options for appealing the decision. In addition, we could help you get the benefits and backpay you deserve based on your medical condition and symptoms.
Call (828) 286-3866 today for your free claim review.