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My SSD application was denied. Now what?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Social Security Disability

Few things are more frightening than losing the ability to earn a livelihood. The Social Security Disability system can help those in this situation by providing financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. To qualify for benefits, applicants must meet two key criteria: medical eligibility and work credits. Although there is more to it, at its most basic level the applicant must have a medical condition that keeps them from working and have paid Social Security taxes during employment.

Those who believe they qualify for benefits begin the application process. This starts by gathering documents like medical records, treatment history, and any relevant test results as well as information about details of work history, education, and daily activities.  Once sent, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews the application.

Unfortunately, putting together the application is often just the start. Denials are common. The SSA’s most recent data states that the agency denies more than two-thirds of initial applications.

Thankfully, this initial denial does not necessarily mean you have reached the end of your request for benefits.

What are my options if the SSA denies my application for benefits?

The decision is not final — in many cases, you can move forward with an appeal. Review the notice as it will provide a deadline. It is important to move forward before the deadline expires. The appeal process can involve a reconsideration from a different SSA examiner and the submission of additional evidence to help support your claim.

If this process is not successful, the next step can involve a hearing.

How do I prepare for the hearing?

It is important to make sure you have as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This can include:

  • Obtain updated medical records and doctor’s opinions, and
  • Include statements from friends, family, and coworkers about your limitations.

The process generally begins with an administrative law judge (ALJ) asking questions about your disability, work history, and daily activities. It can help to practice how you will respond so you make sure you include all necessary information in your answers.

Preparing for a Social Security Disability hearing requires diligence and attention to detail. By understanding the system, appealing denials, and adequately preparing, applicants can increase their chances of a more favorable outcome.


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