Checklist For Appealing a Social Security Disability Benefit Denial

appealing a Social Security disability benefit denial

No one wants to deal with appealing a Social Security disability benefit denial. But if you don’t have an experienced attorney on your side right from the beginning of applying for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, you are highly likely to be denied on your first application for benefits.

Here are a few items you need check off your list before appealing a Social Security disability benefit denial:

Appealing a Social Security Disability Benefit Denial, Step 1: Partner with an Attorney

You’ve already been denied once, don’t take the chance a second time around. If you didn’t work with an attorney the first time, you may want to consider contacting an attorney after your denial to get the appeals process moving. The SSA requires all appeals to be made within 60 days from the date of receiving your decision letter. You have a right to be represented by a lawyer, and taking advantage of this right will be to your advantage. An attorney may be the best person to help you secure Social Security Disability benefits, and you should only consider working with a professional who has experience with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and understands all of its processes.

In addition, an attorney can help you take further action if it is deemed necessary. In most instances, the Appeals Council examines all requests for review, according to the SSA, but if it denies your request or you disagree with its decision, you may file a lawsuit in federal district court. An experienced attorney will help you every step of the way.

Appealing a Social Security Disability Benefit Denial, Step 2: Determine Why You Were Denied

It might not be easy, but figuring out what went wrong with your initial application can help you improve your chances of securing benefits. An attorney can examine your Notice of Disapproved Claim or your application materials to determine why you were denied.

Appealing a Social Security Disability Benefit Denial, Step 3: Gather All Required Information

The SSA provides its own checklist of information you need when appealing a denial. This information includes your personal information, such as your Social Security number, and if you have a representative. Current information, even if it has changed since your initial application, should also be included. One thing differing from your first application that you must include is your Notice of Decision. You might have numerous notices, but the SSA says you can tell which one is the right one by looking at the information printed underneath which disability program you applied for and the SSA’s title.

Appealing a Social Security Disability Benefit Denial, Step 4: Decide if You Want to Appeal Online

Appealing a Social Security disability benefit denial through the SSA’s may be faster, but you may want to speak with your attorney first. Your attorney may want to take the lead and handle appealing a Social Security benefit denial on your behalf.

Get Your Free Benefits Evaluation