What to Do If Your Application for Social Security Was Rejected

Whether you’re attempting to claim SSI or SSDI, the cards are stacked against you. The statistics on application acceptances point to an average denial rate estimated to be in the neighborhood of 50-65%. At best, only about half are approved. In 2010, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reported nearly 845,000 awards — and nearly 690,000 denials. It’s no secret that the application process is notoriously complex, detailed, and difficult to complete, especially without the guidance of an experienced disability attorney. However, a denial doesn’t have to be the end of the story: so what happens next?

The Process of Denying your Application

The SSA is the agency that reviews all applications for social security benefits, whether they come in the form of requesting SSI (supplemental security income) or SSDI (social security disability insurance). While the qualifications to be eligible for the programs are different, the application review process is the same for each. Once you have submitted your application, it will typically be approved or denied in a 60-90 day period.

When you receive a notice of denial from the SSA, it will include information such as details of your medical condition, relevant medical records, and the grounds for denial. For example, it may point out that while you cannot do your specific previous work, there are other jobs you could perform.


Appealing for SSI/SSDI Approval

Once you’ve been denied for social security disability— like so many others — the next step is not to sit back and think what’s done is done. The next step is to appeal the decision.

(Technically, instead of appealing, you could apply anew — but that’s the weaker option. A new application is going to contain the same information as the last, so it’s highly likely to be denied on the same grounds. Furthermore, it takes more time and sets you back to square one.)

The appeal process itself consists of up to four stages:

  1. Reconsideration. You can request that your application be “reconsidered.” Unfortunately, you’re statistically likely to be denied again.
  2. Appeal hearing. You can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) within 60 days of the reconsideration.
  3. Review. The verdict of the appeal hearing can be submitted for review by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can overturn the verdict of the ALJ from the previous step — or reject you again.
  4. Federal district court hearing.  The final stage of the appeals process is a hearing in federal district court.

SSI/SSDI applications are like all other applications in one regard you would do well to heed closely: deadlines. Missing a deadline can botch the entire process and force you to fill out a new application rather than appealing an existing rejection. You have 65 days (60 “official” days, plus a 5-day grace period) from the time of your initial rejection to contact the SSA about an appeal: don’t lose track.

Call Our Philadelphia + Bucks County Social Security Lawyers Today

Applying for SSI/SSDI benefits is designed to be grueling. It’s designed against you. Don’t fight the system alone: in an uphill battle, you need an aggressive, knowledgeable attorney on your side to maximize your chances. Get what you’re entitled to. Contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today.

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