If the Social Security Administration (SSA) recently denied your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you can appeal their decision if you disagree. While it’s very important to adhere to all deadlines related to your application and appeal, life often gets in the way, especially if you’re coping with a challenging disability.
Potential Reasons for SSDI Denial
The SSA denies many first-time applications for SSDI benefits for various reasons, which may include but not be limited to:
- Lack of sufficient medical evidence that proves your disability is severe enough to be considered disabling
- Income level beyond the maximum limit from being able to earn money through work while applying or for having too many financial assets
- Failure to follow medical treatment advice like attending a consultative examination with a doctor that SSA requests
- Failure to comply with SSDI application instructions, including missing required documents or work history
When to Appeal Your SSDI Denial
The most important part to remember about an appeal is the timeframe you can ask for one. Generally, you have 60 days from the date you receive the notice of the SSA’s decision to ask for any appeal. Typically you will receive their notice within five days after the date on the letter, unless you can prove that you received it later.
If you do not appeal within the 60-day time limit, you may lose your right to appeal, and the last decision SSA has made in your case becomes final. For example, if you don’t ask for a reconsideration within 60 days, you may lose your right to have a hearing.
If you have a good reason for not appealing your case within the time limits, SSA may give you more time. Your request for more time must be made to the SSA in writing, stating the reason for the delay.
If the last day to appeal falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or national holiday, the time limit extends to the next workday.
Pitfalls to Avoid When You Appeal Your SSDI Denial
It can be a challenge to appeal the denial of your SSDI benefits. It pays off when you are aware of the common mistakes that could impact the success of your appeal. Avoiding these could make a real difference:
- Not thoroughly understanding the reasons for your initial denial
- Giving up without filing an appeal
- Missing your appeal deadlines
- Discontinuing treatment or ignoring your doctor’s recommendations
- Not providing sufficient medical evidence about your condition
- Not recording your symptoms to keep your memory fresh when you testify
- Not hiring a lawyer because you think it’ll be too expensive
- Waiting until an appeal hearing is scheduled to get a lawyer
Working With Schott Law
If you need help ensuring a successful appeal of your SSDI benefits denial, Schott Law is here for you. Maggie Schott is an SSDI & SSI lawyer serving Washington and Idaho. Contact us now at (509) 328-5789 to start your application.