Friday, December 13, 2019

What to Do if Your SSDI Claim is Denied

what to do if your ssdi claim is denied
If you’re applying for disability benefits, chances are good that you need these payments to meet your many financial obligations. Ideally, your application will be approved, and you’ll start receiving benefits within one to two months, but that’s not always the case. You might be wondering what to do if your SSDI claim is denied. 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides much-needed financial relief for people who meet certain qualification standards. Unfortunately, the application process is more difficult than many applicants expect. It’s important to know that a denial is not the end of the road. Not only are denials common, they can also be considered an opportunity to improve upon the case you’re making for SSDI benefits. 

If your application was denied, you have 60 days to request an appeal from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, before you begin the process, you should keep a few things in mind. Let’s discuss what to do if your SSDI claim is denied. 

Don’t Panic

Most initial applications for SSDI are denied. If you’re wondering what to do if your SSDI claim is denied, then know that several other disability recipients have experienced a denial, only to later be approved through appeal. 

Contact an SSDI Attorney

It’s challenging to find success in an SSDI appeal if you aren’t familiar with the process. SSDI attorneys have years of experience handling these cases, so they’ll be able to review your application and look for errors or ways to improve your chances of approval. 

Try to Determine Why Your Claim Was Denied

A denied application is an opportunity to improve the case you’ve made for benefits. When figuring out what to do if your SSDI claim is denied, you should look closely at your application. Are there any errors in your application? Is there any additional information you could include that would improve your chances for approval? For help finding answers to these questions, contact an SSDI attorney. 

Familiarizing Yourself with the SSDI Appeals Process

There are four levels to an SSDI appeal…
  • Reconsideration - When your claim is denied for medical reasons, you can submit a request to have your application reviewed by someone who wasn’t involved in the first determination. If it’s possible to include any additional information, you should include it for reconsideration.
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge - You can request a review by an administrative law judge. In most cases, the hearing will take place within 75 miles of your home. 
  • Review by the Appeals Council - If an administrative law judge denies your application, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. 
  • Federal Court review - If the Appeals Council denies your application, the last level of appeal is a federal court review. In this level of appeal, you can file a civil suit in a federal district court.

If your application is denied, you will receive a notification from the SSA. This letter will tell you which appeal level of appeal you should consider. 

Don’t Give Up Hope – Contact the Driscoll Salazar Disability Group Today

You might be frustrated by a denial, but you should always consider an appeal. Applying for SSDI can be a challenge for anyone, and it helps speak to someone familiar with the process. You have 60 days to begin an appeal, so don’t hesitate to contact the Driscoll Salazar Disability Group by calling 949-359-1370.

We’ve helped many clients with the appeals process, and we know what SSA is looking for when reviewing applications. In many cases, we identify an error in applications that can be fixed in appeal. We can also work with you to be sure that you are providing SSA with all the information they’ll need to determine your eligibility.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Four Common Misconceptions About SSDI

Four Common Misconceptions About SSDI

Plenty of people who could be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits never file an application. Perhaps they don’t realize that it’s even an option in their situation, or they’re so concerned about the stigma associated with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that they never start the process. 

Misconceptions loom large over Social Security disability, but dispelling some of the most common myths is in all our best interests. Whether you or someone you know is considering filing an application for SSDI, you should know what is and isn’t true about the program. 

Here are four of the most common misconceptions about SSDI, along with explanations about the realities of this public insurance program...

Misconception #1 - A Denial is the End of the Road

Around one-fourth of SSDI applicants are approved the first time around. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers several opportunities to appeal a denied application. However, it’s very important that you take time to review your initial application to find out why it was denied. Most people don’t know exactly what SSA is looking for or how to determine potential problems in their applications, which is why working with an experienced SSDI attorney is helpful during the appeals process. 

The idea that a denial is the end of the road is a misconception, but saying that everyone’s first application is denied is equally untrue. Ideally, you want your first application to be as well-prepared as possible. However, it’s comforting to know that there are more options available if SSA doesn’t approve your benefits the first time around. 

Misconception #2 - Certain Conditions Make You Automatically Eligible for SSDI

SSA does list conditions that make a person eligible for benefits, but you should not assume that just because you have one of those conditions, you can fill out a form and be automatically approved for benefits. You will still need to provide plenty of basic information to SSA. You will also need to provide evidence that proves the existence of your medical condition. 

It is possible to be denied even if you have a condition listed by the SSA. Filing an application can be complicated. Simple mistakes could lead to a denial and result an unnecessary delay in the benefits you’re entitled to. In other words, you should also be as thorough as possible when applying and never assume it's a sure thing.

Misconception #3 - You Can’t Work While Receiving Benefits

The SSA does not have a policy that restricts recipients from working. SSA does state that a recipient cannot earn “substantial gainful income.” Every year, SSA adjusts the limit that a person can earn and still receive SSDI. In 2019, one can earn $1,220 or less per month and still be eligible. If someone is blind, then the limit is $2,040 per month.

Misconception #4 - SSDI is a Handout

SSDI is an insurance program designed to ensure that people don’t become destitute if they become unable to work. Over the decades, opponents of programs like SSDI started calling them entitlements, and some Americans’ perspectives of SSDI are clouded by the misconception that SSDI is a handout. SSDI is best thought of as a public alternative to private insurance. Most workers are currently paying into SSDI, so in the event that they become unable to do their jobs, they still have a certain level of financial security. 

Clearing Up Misconceptions About SSDI

If you don’t understand something about SSDI, and it’s preventing you from applying, consider first looking over the SSA website. They provide a lot of information about eligibility and filing an application. If you have specific questions you’d like answered or you want a professional to walk you through the process, know that an experienced SSDI attorney is only a call away. 

If You Need Help Filing a Claim, Contact the Driscoll Salazar Disability Group

Stephanie Driscoll is a Social Security disability advocate with years of experience helping people get the benefits they need. Our staff understands the challenges facing people who need SSDI, and our goal is to make sure their application has the best possible chance of approval. 

Misconceptions affect people who need benefits by deterring them from moving forward with an application. We want to help you better understand your legal options, which is why we offer free consultations. Take advantage of a free SSDI case evaluation by calling the Driscoll Salazar Disability Group at 888-984-3734.