If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your Social Security Disability claim, it is wise to request an appeal immediately. Claimants must file their requests within the 60-day deadline. While learning that the SSA has denied your claim is disappointing, all is not lost.
Many disability claims are approved upon appeal. If the SSA has denied your Social Security Disability Insurance claim, you always have a right to appeal. A skilled social security disability insurance attorney can help you file an accurate and compelling appeal, but it is important that you meet the 60-day deadline.
What Does a Social Security Disability Insurance Denial Mean?
If you are facing a disability claim denial, you may be wondering why and what you can do about it. The Social Security Administration always includes a rationale in their claim denials. The SSA always mails a denial notice which will contain the following information:
- A description of your medical condition
- The impairments that the SSA considered
- The nonmedical and medical records that the SSA considered
- An explanation or rationale for the claim denial
Technical Denials of Disability Insurance Claims
In a technical denial, the SSA will refuse to examine the claimant's medical records if they do not meet the eligibility requirements. The claimant cannot earn more income than the substantial gainful activity limit of $1,090 per month. Claimants with insufficient work credits will also face denial. Finally, if the applicant is seeking Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he or she could be denied for exceeding SSA’s asset or income limits.
Denials Based on the Severity of Your Medical Condition
The SSA only awards disability insurance when a claimant’s medical condition prevents him or her from working one or more years. Claimants with a medical disability that can result in death also fulfill the requirements. Even if a claimant’s medical condition or disability is specifically listed in the SSA bluebook, if the condition is not severe enough, the SSA will issue a denial.
Request for Reconsideration
The first appeal after a claim denial is called a request for reconsideration. The applicant must file this request within 60 days of the original claim denial. After the request for reconsideration is made, a second SSA claims examiner will examine the claimant’s file and make a new determination.
If the SSA denies the request for reconsideration, the claimant may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. The claimant must request an administrative law judge hearing within 60 days of the denial. If the administrative law judge denies the claim, the claimant may appeal for a review by the Appeals Council.
The appeals council will review the judge's decision for technical errors or more substantial errors. An Appeals Council judge can determine to do any of the following:
- Reverse the lower judge’s decision and grant approval of the claim
- Remand the case to the judge below and order a second hearing, or
- Issue another denial of the claim
If you wish to file an appeal of your social security disability claim denial, a skilled Social Security attorney can help.