Steps to Take If You are Denied SSA Disability Benefits in New England
If you are disabled and unable to continue working at your job, you are not alone. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) offers an important and sometimes life-saving disability program for many disabled American workers.
But all too often it seems almost impossible to get a claim approved. So, what can you do if you are denied SSA disability benefits? Simple. DON’T GIVE UP! Over 65% of initial applicants, or over 1.6 million Americans, were denied these benefits in 2008. But when these same people pursued an appeal, up to 85% were finally approved.
As disability lawyers in Massachusetts, we have helped many people who were denied SSA disability benefits. If you are one of them, here are the steps to take next:
- Appeal the decision. Don’t try filing a second application and don’t delay. Getting started on your appeal is the very best course of action.
- Start the paperwork. You will need to fill out a “Request for Reconsideration” and “Appeal Disability Report” in order to enter the reconsideration process. These forms will be sent to the Disability Determination Services offices in your state.
- Wait to hear back. If you are approved at the reconsideration phase, then you can relax. If not,
- Complete more paperwork. The next step requires you to complete a “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge” and an “Appeal Disability Report.” These forms will be turned over to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. You now have the option of appearing before an administrative law judge before he or she makes a decision in your case. If that decision is no,
- You guessed it; complete more paperwork. At this point, you must complete a “Request for Review of Decision/Order of Administrative Law Judge” form, which takes you into the “Appeals Council Review” phase. And if this fails?
- Hire an attorney to take your case to District Court. Up to this point, it is possible, but not easy, to do the work yourself. But when you have gone this far, you must have a lawyer to represent you. A district court judge will hear your case and make a final decision.
You may already have completed one or more of these steps on your own, but if you are denied SSA disability benefits, your best chances of getting them are with an experienced, caring New England disability attorney at your side.
At Keefe Disability Law, we pride ourselves on our fine reputation with our clients and in the community. Please give us a call toll free today at 888-904-6847 to explore your options. Also, order a copy of our free report, “Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability,” and get the information you need.