Seeking Social Security coverage can prove very difficult, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the process of submitting and defending a claim, or for those whose injuries or illnesses are not typically awarded benefits. For any number of reasons, the Social Security Administration (SSA) rejects many claims that ultimately do receive coverage. It important to understand how to continue pushing a claim even when it seems like an administrative dead end.
Before spending your time and resources fighting for coverage that may never come through, consider some reasons for denial that no amount of appeals are likely to overcome. For instance, if you do not qualify for coverage because your income is too high, then you may have to consult with an estate planning attorney to determine if there are financial tools you can use to keep your resources while still qualifying for government benefits.
Similarly, if you apply for benefits because of an injury that will not persist for at least 12 months, then you will probably receive a denial. If the injury worsens or the treatment cycle extends, then you may have grounds to re-apply, but an injury that affects you for four to six months will receive a denial almost every time.
While these are not the only reasons that claims receive denials from the SSA, they are among the most common. Be sure to fully understand the specifics of your injury and its effects on your ability to work so that you can build a strong legal strategy to keep your rights and priorities protected while you recover.
Appealing your claim
Should you choose to appeal your claim, it is always wise to carefully review the appeals process with proper legal counsel, to ensure that you understand the risks and potential outcomes, as well as the overall process of appeal.
One aspect that regularly deprives people of needed coverage is the window of time one has to file an appeal. Typically, claimants only have 60 days from the date of the denial to file an appeal, known as a request for reconsideration. If you miss this deadline, moving forward is difficult if not impossible.
It is also good to keep in mind that the same agency that reviewed and denied your claim initially will also review your request for reconsideration. There is a significant chance that it will deny the appeal. This means that you will probably have to move past state-level with your appeal if it is worth pursuing.
After the request moves up past the authority of the state-level agency, it goes before an administrative law judge, then to an appeals council if necessary, and finally to a federal district court. Each of these steps is lengthy, so it is wise to have a strong strategy before you begin.
Don’t wait to begin
If you need to appeal a denied Social Security Disability claim, it is wise to begin reviewing your options and building a legal strategy as quickly as possible. This allows you to assess the risks and potential rewards. It also keeps your energy and time focused on recovering from the injury so you can return to work as soon as possible.