The Social Security Administration (SSA) approves less than half the disability claims they receive. However, if the SSA rejects your application, it doesn’t permanently disqualify you from receiving benefits. That’s because there are ways you can appeal the denial.
How can I appeal the SSA’s initial rejection?
There are several stages of the appeals process. However, if the administration recently denied your application, chances are you will appeal under the disability reconsideration stage. This is the first stage of the appeals process. To increase your chances of appealing your rejection, you must:
- File your appeals claim on time: After receiving a denial letter, you have 60 days to submit your appeal in writing. The SSA will likely deny your appeal if you don’t submit it within the 60-day timeframe. You can submit your appeal online or at your local Social Security office.
- Provide the appropriate paperwork: There are three specific forms you must submit when appealing a disability claim. The first is called a Request for Reconsideration. This form states your interest in appealing your disability application. The second is called a Reconsideration Disability Report. This form can enhance your original claim by providing new and relevant information that helps support it. The third is called an Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA. This medical release form allows the SSA to access medical records related to your disability.
- Write a compelling appeals letter: The three forms only have a few lines where you can dispute your denied application. Submitting an appeals letter can help shed more light on your disability, show how it affects you daily, and tell the SSA why you think they should reconsider their initial decision.
- Provide additional medical evidence/opinions: Medical evidence and professional opinions can increase your chances of a successful appeal. If you use additional medical evidence in your appeal, it should back up your original evidence. If you include opinions from your doctor or another medical professional, they can put their statements in writing. In many cases, you can use these opinions as additional medical evidence.
- Be honest: A convincing case can increase your chances of appealing your rejection. However, it’s also important to remain honest. Providing ambiguous or fraudulent information can hurt your chances of obtaining benefits. It can also hurt your chances if you try to appeal at further stages.
Appealing your rejection is possible
Appealing a disability claim can pose unique challenges. However, you don’t have to go through the process alone. An experienced disability attorney can provide additional guidance to help you navigate the appeals process and increase your chances of getting the benefits you need.