What to Do When Social Security Disability Benefits Are Refused?

Social Security Disability Benefits are beneficial for those who are disabled due to any reason. If you meet the eligibility criteria for Social Security Disability Benefits, then you can easily receive them. But in case, if you have a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits, you may have to deal with worry. Instead of taking stress at all, it is important to realize the fault behind it. Find out whether or not you are at fault. Of course, you may need to take the help of a professional Social Security Disability lawyer, who will help you find the root cause and navigate the next step.

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There are 3 options that come in front of you when you are dealing with a denial of disability benefits from Social Security, which are:

  • Appeal the Social Security Disability determination
  • Reapply for Social Security Disability Benefits
  • Sit idly

Maintaining your rights to SSDI benefits

No matter what you choose to do with your SSDI benefits, you should know that you will not be qualified to get disability benefits for any duration before the date of the Social Security Disability determination. If you want to allow your determination to stand or reapply for Social Security Disability Benefits, make sure you know the date of the disability determination. The best way to maintain your right to get SSDI benefits for a time period prior to the initial date of the refusal is to go with an appeal. The significance of maintaining your privilege to the benefits before the refusal is two-fold, understand carefully:

  • If you do not request the denial, the chances are more that you will be going to miss the year of time that approved and would have counted towards your privilege to Medicare benefits.
  • Another thing that may happen to you is that you may miss retroactive disability benefits. To understand it, here is an example for you. You stopped working on Jan 1, 2019, because of your disability and you were in the queue until you had been out of work for twelve months and then filed for benefits on Jan 1, 2020, and you were refused on June 1, 2020.  If you had been given benefits, you would have been qualified for monthly benefit payments that start on June 1, 2019. If you choose the option to demand the denial, then you will get the year of retroactive benefits, otherwise, you cannot get it at any cost.

The working of the appeals process

Have you made up your mind to request the appeal? If yes, then it would be good if you are familiar with the process. After receiving the initial denial, there are 60 days for you to file a ‘REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION.’ This process includes having another medical assessor with Social Security to review your file. In this phase, if you want any other additional medical records to be submitted, then you will be free to do it as it will be accepted.

The Social Security Administration may also need some additional records if you have been diagnosed with any illness and undergone extra medical treatment and you need to submit them since the last time records were submitted to Social Security.

Know the chances of getting approved

If you know the chances of getting approval, then it will be good for you. Unless you have experienced significant treatment, such as a hospitalization, a surgery, there may be several significant changes in your treatment or medication regimen. At that time, you will be expected to be refused for next time at the Reconsideration Level.

Hire an SSDI lawyer or not

Of course, you may be confused about whether or not hiring an SSDI lawyer is needed. There is no need to appoint any lawyer if you are interested in filing a Request for Reconsideration. Since there are chances of a second denial and you would not want to ruin your reconsideration procedure in any way, then appointing a lawyer is the best idea. The next step, in case of a denial, is to appeal a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If you have an attorney, then it is recommended to have him/her with you at the time of requesting the hearing. It is not a prerequisite to go to a hearing with an attorney, but the Judge will possibly recommend you have a lawyer before proceeding.

How much time does it take to get a hearing?

Before the pandemic, an appeal for a hearing was taking around 12 to 16 months to obtain a date. Since physical hearings and hearings have not been held since March 2020, in this condition, the time frame may extend.

What to do if a telephone hearing is scheduled on your SSDI appeal?

During this pandemic, your hearing will be scheduled on telephones by the hearing offices. On the hearing day, the court journalist appointed to the case will call you, where you will join a conference call with your lawyer, the judge, and a vocational expert (optional). Each party must be at a different location. No video will be there, preventing the judge to see you when making decisions about your credibility and even, you are not capable of seeing the judge.

Can you skip a video or telephone conference hearing?

According to the law, it states that you are permitted to a face-to-face hearing and you may ask to participate in a video or telephone hearing.

Is physical hearing beneficial?

Of course, if you go with an in-person hearing, then it will show your disability condition and the judge can examine it. one can have a physical manifestation of your disability situation when you are suffering from any of the health disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, tremors, dramatic weight gain or loss, gait abnormalities, etc. but on the other hand, an in-person hearing may also ruin your chances of getting approval, as it will extend the time to get a hearing and judgment on your claim. Having an SSDI attorney will increase the chances of getting a sanction of Social Security Disability Benefits.