Being denied SSDI in Massachusetts is a scary experience. Because your disability inhibits you from performing your old job, you do not have the financial resources you need to live. When you receive your denial letter, it is important to know that you have options to appeal.
The first step of the appeal process is to submit your paperwork for reconsideration. If you are unable to resubmit a reconsideration request, or if your reconsideration request is denied again, you may request a hearing. Approximately 20 to 30 days prior to your hearing date, you will receive a notice. This is when you should start to prepare.
To help you maximize your opportunity at winning your appeal hearing, here are a few critical tips to follow.
- Gather any new medical evidence and submit prior to your hearing. If you have new medical exams or treatments prior to your hearing—but after you submitted your application for reconsideration—submit these to the judge ahead of time. The administrative law judge will review these prior to the hearing. This helps guide the type of questions he will ask during the hearing.
- Work with a Massachusetts disability attorney to prepare your responses. You should be well prepared to answer any questions about your disability. The answers to these questions can make or break your case, so it is crucial that you answer them clearly and concisely. Working with an attorney prior to your case can help you know what the judge is looking for in your responses and how to answer well.
- Find witnesses to strengthen your case. You may be allowed to have one or two witnesses in your hearing. These witnesses can talk about your struggles and disability at home or at work. This can help strengthen your case and prove to the judge that you need the SSDI you applied for.
Receiving a denial is a frightening experience, but it is important to remember that there are options to appeal. Before you submit your appeal, it is a good idea to speak to an Massachusetts Social Security Disability attorney to go over your appeal forms and increase your chances at getting the money to which you are entitled.