Has your initial Social Security Disability claim been denied? Getting through the process can be tricky and cumbersome. There are countless genuinely disabled applicants that have waited for their application to be accepted for years only to see their claim denied for a measly reason. Here are 7 tips to help you win a SSDI appeal if your claim gest denied.
- Realize it is a Lengthy Process
Getting your claim approved is not designed to be easy. The system rejects 2/3 of initial claims. This average may seem discouraging. It is just part of how works to limit fraud. It is very important to try again with a sense of urgency. You will have to try start all over again if you don’t file an appeal within 60 days.
- Get the Paperwork Together
Gather objective medical evidence. This is one of the most critical parts of the process. It can weigh heavily in your hearings. Incomplete records may give the court the ability to deny your claim.
Make sure your paperwork is all together before filing for a new hearing. Cases depend on strong paper trials in most cases. Leaving no stone unturned will help you strengthen your case.
These records should also be recent. For example, the Social Security Administration likes records created within the last 6 months. This makes it easier to determine how a condition currently impacts the applicant’s ability to work.
Some examples of medical records include treatment notes, mental health records, bloodwork panels, reports of imaging studies, biopsies.
- A Second Hearing
Getting a second hearing is a very common step for most people claiming disability. Having your paperwork together will make it much easier.
These appeals allow administrative law judges to hear your case in person. They are not like social security claims examiners who may never meet you. The reason is these judges have more independence than examiners.
Judges will give doctor’s opinions more credibility. They might also allow more testimony in the case. As an applicant, you will also be able to directly speak to the judges about your condition.
- Consult with An Attorney
A second pair of eyes can help build a bulletproof SSD appeal from scratch (more details in the link). Disability attorneys know how to present your evidence in the best light. Another big benefit is they have seen many of these cases play out. Applicants who hire an attorney get their claims approved 60% of the time compared to the 34% who don’t.
A lawyer will be able to know if you are missing needed evidence. and where to find it. Attorneys can often get access to these records more quickly than you too.
- Continue Visiting the Doctor Regularly
Regular doctor trips will help you get recent medical documents. These will serve as evidence for your appeal. Make sure to take the medicines and treatments they prescribe. Many cases get denied because claimants do not see doctors often or do not seek treatment.
- Prepare for (A Lot of) Questioning
Your attorney will know the common questions you might get asked and help you better prepare. This can help make you less nervous as you will be able to provide clearer answers.
It is very important to pay attention to what you are being asked. Many people botch their odds of winning by not answering a question. Stay on the topic and be specific. You should also prepare for tough questions ahead of time because they are common.
Many people with chronic pain have to rely on painkillers to get by. Denying painkiller use in front of an administrative judge only makes you look like a liar. It is better, to be honest about uncomfortable truths like this. It would be better to admit it and state how the problem is being worked on with your doctor.
- Dealing With the Vocational Expert
A vocational expert is the person who testifies at your hearing about your ability to work. They will testify if you are still able to perform certain jobs and carry out certain tasks. A VE will look at your work history, education, and medical documents. Based on their testimony, the panel might decide that you are still able to work, which may result in another denial.
Getting Social Security Disability After Getting Denied
Most people get denied the first time. Those who don’t succeed regroup and come back more prepared. Getting an attorney is not required, but it is highly recommended at that stage, as they might improve your odds.