You’ve been a hard-working, tax-paying citizen for years, but now have an injury or condition that prevents you from working.
So, you’ve applied for Social Security Disability, the federal government program that pays benefits to people who are unable to work due to an injury or medical condition.
After filling out tons of paper work, and then waiting months for an answer, you’re stunned when you receive a letter that your Social Security claim has been denied.
Does this sound familiar?
Although this is incredibly disheartening, you are not alone. This scenario is quite common and one that I hear all of the time as a Social Security disability attorney.
Social Security disability has a rigorous review process and many, maybe even most, claims are denied the first time – that is, the initial application.
But, take heart. Just because your claim was denied initially doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for your case. There are additional steps you can take to appeal the decision and ultimately, get the benefits you deserve.
What to Do if Your Social Security Disability Claim is Denied
Perhaps the most important thing you can do if your claim has been denied is to hire a disability attorney.
For people who can’t work because of a disability, day-to-day activities are stressful enough. Add to that the complicated process of applying for disability benefits, and you have a situation that requires some professional help.
Although you can appeal your Social Security disability claim on your own, it is a very complicated process. There is just no reason to go it alone when you can get a lawyer to help you with the appeals process with no up-front cost to you.
Hiring an Attorney for Your Disability Claim
Here are some of the ways an attorney can help you if your disability claim is denied:
- Determine why your case was denied. An attorney can review the feedback from the Social Security Administration to see if you provided all of the necessary documentation and answered all of the questions to their liking. An attorney can also help you determine why your case was denied, explain your options, and supplement your claim, thereby ensuring your success.
- Evaluate your evidence. An attorney can review and analyze all of your medical records, financial statements and employment history and recommend how to proceed with your claim.
- Improve your odds for a successful appeal. A disability lawyer is familiar with the entire process. This includes the initial application, request for reconsideration and the request for a hearing before an administrative law judge. A qualified, experienced and skilled lawyer can help you build your case, navigate all of the steps and increase your chances for success.
- Get you comfortable in front of a judge. A courtroom can be intimidating for people who aren’t used to that environment. A lawyer can guide you through the process. He will prepare you for the hearing so you feel educated and comfortable in a courtroom.
- Communicate effectively with the judge. Attorneys who specialize in Social Security benefits work with the same judges on a regular basis. Attorneys know what judges are looking for and what kind of information they need to make their decision. Your attorney can help you communicate your situation with the judge and make your voice heard.
- Educate you about the process. Lawyers work on Social Security claims all the time. They can help you understand the process so you can feel informed and less anxious.
- Take some of the stress. Applying for benefits, your disability, your finances – it’s all cause for stress and worry. Plus, the application and appeal process can be a lengthy process – sometimes as long as two years. Your attorney can take the burden off of you so you can focus on your healing and getting back to work.
- Handle the appeal process. Your attorney will help you with all of the necessary paperwork, schedule your hearing and handle all of the steps in the appeal process so you don’t have to.
If your Social Security claim was denied, you still have a chance to get the benefits you deserve. But, don’t try to go it alone. Hire an attorney to get the help you need.
If you have questions about applying for Social Security benefits or appealing a denial, give me a call at 615-256-666. I would be happy to talk to about your case and help you navigate the tricky waters of Social Security Disability so you don’t have to.