The majority of people (statistics generally suggest about 65 to 70 percent nationally) get denied when they first apply for Social Security disability benefits. After you are denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal. Many people make the mistake of not filing an appeal and instead just continue to file new applications. I’ve had multiple people tell me that they have heard that “you only get approved after you have applied (fill in the blank) times.” This simply isn’t true. There is no magical number of applications after which a person gets approved for disability. As long as you continue to file new claims, you just have the same people in the same office reviewing your file and will most likely continue to get denied.
The best thing you can do for yourself and for your claim is to file an appeal. By filing an appeal, you get the benefit of the following:
1. Your case most likely will be heard by Administrative Law Judge who will take a fresh look at the evidence in your case. You will be able to talk face to face with the ALJ and be able to tell him or her exactly what it’s like to be you and live with your medical condition.
2. You will have additional time to gather evidence for your case. This could be in the form of additional treatment or by getting an opinion from your doctor about things you can and cannot do. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you develop your case by suggesting low cost clinics or providing forms for your doctor to complete. At our firm, we also help by purchasing medical records up front so you are not saddled with the cost of ordering your own medical records to send to Social Security.
The exact forms needed to be completed for an appeal of an initial denial are different in Alabama (Request for Hearing) than in Florida and Mississippi (Request for Reconsideration). An experienced attorney can help you file the appropriate paperwork to appeal your denial. Don’t make the mistake of not appealing your Social Security disability denial!