If you find yourself unable to work due to disability, applying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) can be the lifeline you need. SSID is awarded based on an assessment of your need, factoring in things like your income, assets, and level of disability. This means that some claims are rejected.
The refusal of your claim is not the final word, however. It is possible to appeal a rejection, and many appeals are successful. Your claim can be reconsidered and may be successful if you keep trying. Because social security disability benefits can be so important for maintaining your quality of life, it’s well worth fighting for them. Read on to find out what steps you can take to challenge the decision and claim the benefits you need.
Ask for a reconsideration
Your first step might be to file for reconsideration. When you receive your decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will usually get an explanation of why you were refused SSDI. If you think this reason is wrong for any reason, you are entitled to file for reconsideration. The SSA must then review your case in its entirety as if it was a new application. If you were correct, your claim may be reinstated. A disability attorney can help you with this.
Request a hearing with an administrative law judge
Even if the reconsideration doesn’t go your way, you still have plenty of options. You can appeal again, requesting a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). These hearings take place locally. The ALJ will review your application and question you about your situation. The judge will also speak to any medical experts and attending witnesses involved in your case. You’re entitled to representation during this process. During hearings, you should consider having a disability attorney present to support you.
Submit fresh medical evidence
If your medical condition has changed during the SSDI application process or you were appealing, you must inform the SSA. You can submit this new evidence separately or in conjunction with a request for reconsideration.
Providing information on medical changes is a requirement and can also help your application. New medical information and evidence can bolster your case, giving the evaluator additional cause to award you SSDI.
Obtain testimonials from your doctor(s)
Doctors’ evaluations are weighted very heavily by the SSA. Should your initial social security disability application be denied, additional information can help when you appeal. If you haven’t already done so, ask your doctor to fill in an RFC (residual functional capacity) form. If your condition has worsened, you can ask your doctor to submit a revised RFC form. Your doctor can also submit additional information to support your case, detailing your condition, and explaining why you should receive benefits.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney
Whether you’re applying for the first time or appealing an unfavorable decision, enlisting an experienced social security disability attorney is always a wise move. Disability attorneys know exactly what an SSA evaluator is looking for in a claim and can ensure that your case is adjudicated fairly. Disability attorneys are very well versed in the appeals process and can make this daunting endeavor much less painful. Disability attorneys are required to advise you for free until you win your appeal and begin to receive benefits. This means that the attorney is highly motivated to do everything they can to ensure that your appeal is successful.
If you’re thinking about appealing your SSDI decision, it’s a good idea to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group’s experienced, compassionate disability attorneys can help you receive the SSI disability benefits you deserve.