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Social Security Disability & SSI Denials

91ddd6_0db5e2f451b74e07914e883e2d1da772.jpegIf SSA has denied your application for benefits, that does not necessarily mean that your claim is unwinnable or a waste of time. In fact, nationally, about 67% of claims are denied at the Initial Application level.

However, once you have been denied, you have only 60 days to file your appeal. The 60 days are counted from the date in the upper right-hand corner of the denial notice. This, rather than the postage date on the envelope or the day you receive the notice, is the date that SSA counts as your denial date. If you have already received a notice of denial, please let us know immediately so that we can assist you with your appeal.

Your first appeal is called a 'Request for Reconsideration.'

Once this appeal has been filed, it is not uncommon to receive no communication from SSA for months while they process the appeal. It takes SSA approximately 6 to 9 months to review a "Request for Reconsideration" and decide whether or not they will reverse the initial denial.

Meanwhile, SSA will request that you fill out the eight-page SSA-3441 form so that you can keep them up-to-date on any changes in your conditions or new medical sources. Our staff can assist you with this form as well. If you are able to get consistent medical treatment throughout this process, it will establish a solid record for SSA to make a determination on your disability claim.

If SSA denies your 'Request for Reconsideration,' you have 60 days to file a 'Request for Hearing.' Our staff can also assist you in filing your Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. It generally takes at least 10 months to get a hearing date because of the large number of people filing these appeals.

One important detail to consider is whether you have been medically denied or non-medically denied. If you have been medically denied, you will generally see text in the first paragraph of the notice stating something similar to 'You are not disabled under our rules.' SSA should also list the medical sources they considered when they send you a medical denial. If you have been medically denied, you are automatically eligible to file an appeal. However, if you are non-medically denied, you may not be eligible for an appeal. Most often, a non-medical denial will indicate that you have been denied either because you have insufficient work history for SSDI, too many assets for SSI, or too much income for SSI. If you need assistance with a medical or non-medical denial, please contact our office right away.

The most important thing to remember is that you will have 60 days from the notice date to file your appeal. If you do not file your appeal during that time period, you risk having to start the entire process over again.

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