Denied Claims and Appeals
When you receive notification that your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim has been denied, you may be worried you have lost your one chance at benefits. It is famously difficult to get approved for SSDI benefits in your initial application, but the process does not end when you’ve been denied. You have many more opportunities to apply for benefits, so don’t give up hope just yet.
At the Social Security Law Center, our attorneys can help you decide what to do after a denial. We have been helping clients like you get approved for SSDI benefits in Oklahoma since 1990. After a denial, it is important to reach out to an experienced legal advisor to plan your next steps.
Our team is here to help. Call today or reach out to us online for a free consultation.
Denied SSDI Claims in Oklahoma
Denied claims for SSDI benefits are not the end of the road for disabled Americans. It may seem frightening or unfair when you receive a denial letter, but, it is important to remember that the standards for SSDI are high for a reason. Social Security is a government-funded program, and the amount you receive monthly depends on how many years you have been paying into the Social Security trust fund as well as the amounts you have paid.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to make sure that anyone who can still work does, so they can continue contributing money to Social Security and increase their retirement benefits. The goal of the SSA is to make sure the money in the trust fund is saved for those who really need the support. They do this by denying many claims in the beginning, to encourage applicants to seek out every alternative.
More than 60% of applicants are denied in this initial stage, but many of them go on to be approved later in the process. If your claim has been denied, you still have a chance of receiving benefits.
Why Was My Claim Denied?
A claim can be denied for many reasons. Eligibility for SSDI benefits is strict, and the smallest error in filing could result in a denial. If you have forgotten a detail or haven’t collected enough evidence of your disability, the SSA may decide you either have not paid enough in taxes or that your disability is not severe enough to prevent you from working.
The SSA reviewers may also contact your doctor. If your physician does not feel that you are eligible for SSDI benefits or they believe that you have not followed your treatment plan, this can influence the SSA’s decision. Failure to show up for a scheduled medical exam can also lead to your claim being denied.
A claim might also be denied due to a filing error or failure to respond to the SSA’s requests for more information. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you determine why your claim has been denied so that your appeal or new application has the best chance of being approved.
What to Do Now
Your next steps after being denied depend on several factors. You will want to consider why your claim has been rejected and where in the process you are. If your claim was rejected because there wasn’t enough evidence or your application was incomplete, you may want to file a new initial application and start at the beginning of the process.
Your application might be comprehensive but denied because your disability is not listed in the blue book. In this situation, filing a Request for Reconsideration is your best next step. Appeals and Recon Requests have a much higher rate of success than starting the process over again with a new initial application.
If you have already filed a reconsideration request and been denied, your next step will be to request a disability hearing. The hearing phase has the highest rate of approval. In a Social Security Disability hearing, you will go before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to argue your case. At this stage, it is critical to have an attorney at your side.
If your hearing is unsuccessful you may want to file an appeal. The Appeals Council will review your claim and determine whether the judge gave your case proper consideration. The Appeals Council generally sides with the ALJ, but they can help you make sure your case receives proper consideration.
If the Appeals Council rejects your claim, your final option is to file an appeal with the Federal District Court. You still have a chance of receiving benefits at this stage, but it will be very difficult to do alone. The judge may decide to reverse the SSA’s decision and grant you benefits, they may send your case back to the SSA for review, or they may uphold the SSA’s decision and deny your claim. Be aware, that this level of appeal can be expensive.
How Our SSDI Attorneys Can Help
It may be difficult to determine why your claim was denied. An attorney can review your case and help you strengthen your claim.
Our team has extensive experience helping clients get approved for SSDI benefits. We know the most effective way to present your claim and organize your case. Your attorney can also help you gather and present evidence, determine your eligibility, and know when is the right time to file. We can work with your physician and employer to strengthen your claim and navigate the complicated SSA system. If your claim goes to a hearing, we can arrange expert witnesses to speak on your behalf, and we will argue your case before the judge.
We are one of the only law firms in Oklahoma that believes in staying with our clients throughout the claims process. Some attorneys will not represent you before the Federal District Court, but we know that your case is time sensitive and that you need a team that is committed to your case. We don’t believe in abandoning our clients at this critical step.
Call Us Today
Hiring a lawyer to help you file your Social Security Disability Insurance application can make the difference between months of waiting and a decisive, effective application early on. The Social Security Law Center is here to support you and fight for your right to Social Security benefits. We have offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Bartlesville, and our attorneys are always ready to help.
If you are in the process of applying or if you are still deciding what to do, our team can help you learn about your options. Call us for a free consultation, or reach out to us online.