If you have applied for Social Security disability benefits and are waiting for a decision, you may be wondering what is next. Of course, if you are accepted, then it is a done deal and you will begin receiving monthly benefits soon.
However, more often than not, initial applications are denied. In fact, that happens between 60 percent and 70 percent of the time. If yours is among those that are denied, where do you go from there?
Should You Appeal or Reapply When a SSA Disability Claim Is Denied?
If your initial SSA disability application is denied, your first reaction may be to give up. That is the last thing you should do! Instead, you have two other options: appeal the decision or start the process over again. There are reasons to consider both options, and a good Massachusetts SSA disability attorney can help you make this very important decision.
Reasons to Reapply After a Denial
Here are a few reasons you might want to reapply:
- You chose not to appeal the decision. Many people think that if their SSA disability claim is denied, their condition does not qualify. This is far from the truth. Most denials are based on other factors, such as inadequate medical evidence.
- Your medical condition has deteriorated since the decision. Perhaps you were able to continue working after your claim was denied and have been able to scrape by. But, if your condition has worsened and you are no longer able to work, you should reapply.
- You missed the appeal deadline. This is a common problem for disability claimants. You usually have about 60 days to appeal. If, for some reason, you miss this deadline, you will have to start over.
- An administrative law judge (ALJ) denies your claim. Once an ALJ has denied your claim, you are allowed one final appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council. While you are waiting for the Council’s decision, you are allowed to file a new claim.
Reasons to Appeal After a Denial
In most cases, an appeal is the smartest thing to do. Here are some of the top reasons for choosing this option:
- If you reapply and the same person looks at your case, he or she will most likely deny again.
- When you appeal, a new process begins. New people with a fresh perspective will review your case.
- While the chances of being denied are huge with your initial application, the odds of a favorable outcome improve greatly if you appeal the decision.
- When your case goes before an ALJ, the judge has much more latitude in making a decision about your medical disability condition than state examiners do. So, the chances of success are better.
If you have been denied SSA disability benefits in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire, you owe it to yourself to consult a Social Security disability attorney. By doing so, your chances of success will increase.
Call the professionals at Keefe Disability Law today to find out what your next steps should be. We work only on disability cases and can offer you comprehensive, expert, caring representation.