You may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance if you are unable to work due to a physical or mental impairment. It is not uncommon for your benefits claim to be denied initially. If this happens, you have the right to file an appeal. In many states, this will move your case to what is referred to as the reconsideration stage. Thus, you may still be able to win SSDI benefits even after your claim is rejected.
Hire a lawyer whom specializes in social security disability law. Statistically, the odds are stacked against you when applying for SSDI benefits. Generally, only about 15 percent of all reconsideration appeals are approved, according to the Ultimate Disability Guide. However, this varies from state to state. Hiring an attorney can not only help make the process easier, but it may also increase your chances of winning your case.
File your appeal. Follow the specific guidelines you received with your letter of denial on how to proceed for reconsideration, as this can vary depending on the state you live in. If you have obtained legal representation, consult your attorney about the filing process.
Comply with all the basic requirements for SSDI eligibility. Aside from your medical condition, you must have enough work credits and be unemployed for at least one year prior to your application.
Submit copies of your medical records with your appeal. Hospital records, physician records and/or mental health evaluations are valuable evidence for proving your disability claim.
Ask your physician to write a statement supporting your SSDI claim. It should include her detailed evaluation of your limitations due to your disability. If your physician is unwilling to provide this letter, you may want to consider finding another doctor who is more supportive of your claim.
Tips & Warnings
- Remember SSDI and SSI are not the same program.
- You have the right to obtain a copy of your medical records.
- You may be rejected again during the reconsideration stage, but be diligent. There are still more opportunities for you to prove your case, such as a hearing.
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