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What do I do after my Social Security benefits claim is denied?

Is an injury or illness keeping you away from your job? If you are unable to work, it makes it difficult to pay your bills. That's where Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) comes in.

Even if you've filed an SSDI application properly, it doesn't mean you'll receive an immediate approval. In fact, less than one-third of SSDI claims are initially approved. This is why it is important to be prepared to appeal your denied claim.

How to appeal a denial

If you receive a SSDI claim denial letter, don't assume that it's the end of the line. Giving up now can cause you to miss out on compensation that's owed to you. It's critical to review the denial letter from beginning to end, paying close attention to the next steps in the process.

  • Don't wait: If you want to appeal your denial, don't wait to take action. From the date of receiving your denial letter, you have only 60 days to file an appeal in writing.
  • Don't forget to provide evidence: When appealing, supplement your record with as much supporting evidence as possible. Understanding the specific reason for the denial will help you formulate the proper response.
  • Don't lose hope: While your initial appeal may result in another denial, it's not the end of the road. You can then move to a hearing before an administrative judge, with hopes that presenting evidence at that time will work in your favor.

It's not typically necessary, but you may have to continue through the levels of appeals until you reach the federal court. 

As frustrating as it may be, don't let a SSDI claim denial stop you dead in your tracks. You have legal rights, and you must protect them from start to finish.

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