You have waited for months to hear something from the Social Security Administration (SSA) about your disability claim — only to have your hopes turned into frustrations because your claim was denied.
So, what’s next?
If your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim was just denied, here’s what you can do now:
1. Review your denial letter.
Your denial letter often provides some good information that you can use to fix problems in your application. Make sure that you weren’t denied for missing medical records from one of your primary doctors or anything similar that you may be able to fix.
2. File for a reconsideration.
When you file a reconsideration, you essentially ask SSA to take a second look at your claim. Your file will be updated to capture any new medical information and routed back to a new disability examiner for another review. The entire process can take as long as the initial claim.
If your claim is approved, you won’t have to go any further. If it isn’t, you’ll have to ask for another appeal.
3. File for a hearing.
If your reconsideration request comes back with your claim denied again, you can file for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. A hearing allows you to plead your case directly to the ALJ. The ALJ can ask you questions about your condition and job, listen to any witnesses that attend the hearing and review all of your medical evidence when making a decision.
Many people choose to hire an attorney for one or both these steps in the appeals process. Often, an attorney can pinpoint the obstacles to a successful claim in any given case and help clients overcome them. If you’re struggling to get Social Security Disability benefits, it may be worth your while to investigate the services of an attorney.