Denied Social Security: the basics of filing an appeal (Part 1)

Recently we spent some time on our blog discussing disabled individuals’ eligibility for federal assistance. The criteria generally have to do with one’s inability to work. However, when an initial application for Social Security Disability has been submitted, there is a strong chance it will be denied. Most applications are denied at least once. We’ll take some time over the next few blog posts to help our Bremen readers understand why claims get denied, and what they can do about it. This is intended as general information only, and not specific legal advice.

Initial denials of claims for SSD benefits tend to fall into several categories. The Social Security Administration might argue that you can still work, or that you’ll be out of work for less than a year. They might deny your claim if they think that substance abuse lead to your disability. They also could argue that you didn’t follow a doctor’s prescribed treatment, or that you didn’t include enough medical evidence to support your claim.

When this happens — and for most applicants, it will happen — the first step is to begin gathering evidence showing that the SSA’s reason for the denial was wrong. Thorough, detailed and clearly-written medical evidence is key. You’ll need copies of any tests and results from laboratories, your medical history, and a statement from your doctor explaining the job-related tasks that your disability prevents you from performing. That includes physical or mental tasks, if your claim is based on mental disability.

A legal professional experienced in disability claims and appeals can help refute the reasons for the denial with appropriate evidence. Next, we’ll look at submitting the appeal and what might happen once the SSA received it.

Source: FindLaw, “Disability Reconsideration: Appealing a Denied Claim,” accessed Nov. 4, 2017

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