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8 Tips to Help You Avoid a Denied SSDI Claim

Posted on Friday, March 13, 2015
Blog, Lawyer Advice, Social Security Disability

When you have a physical or mental problem that is bad enough to prevent you from working, you might consider applying for SSDI. Unfortunately, a lot of people experience a denied SSDI claim the first time that they apply for it. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to reduce your chances of having your claim denied. Here are eight tips to avoid being denied for SSDI.

Have a Supportive Physician

Make sure that you have a supportive physician for your case. When you have found a doctor who will support your application for SSDI, have them complete a very detailed statement of why you’re disabled and are therefore unable to work.

Residual Functional Capacity Forms

A common reason that an otherwise qualified person would be denied a SSDI claim is the failure to obtain a detailed residual functional capacity (RFC) form. You must have both the RFC form and appropriate records from your doctor.

Keep Your Medical Records up to Date

Submit medical record copies, with any recent updates, with your application and with any appeal.

Cooperate

Fully cooperate with your claims examiner that is assigned to your case. This will include promptly responding to notices and letters, along with going to DDS-scheduled medical exams.

Get Updates

Keep requesting updates on your case’s status. If you don’t have representation, it’s possible to get updates from DDS by phone.

Watch Your Deadlines

Don’t allow any essential deadlines lapse regarding your claim.

Be Friendly

Keep a great relationship with the individuals who are involved in your case. These individuals include your local office’s claims representative, the DDS claims examiner and your representative or attorney if you’ve retained one for assistance. Having a courteous, friendly relationship with people is going to give you a better chance of winning your case than if you are demanding and brash.

Keep Your Doctor Appointments

One of the biggest things to remember is that you have to attend any and all doctor appointments that you have. Going to your doctor appointments is going to show, more than anything, that you do have medical problems and that you are staying on top of them.

When you are trying to get SSDI, you want to show that you really have the problems for which you are applying. The tips above won’t guarantee a win in SSDI court, but they will help. If you are denied the first time around, and most people are, it will help to contact an attorney to help you with the process.

Filing a New SSDI Claim is a Bad Idea after being Denied

Posted on Monday, February 16, 2015
Blog, Social Security Disability

Receiving a notice that your SSDI claim has been denied is extremely frustrating. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly common. Almost 70 percent of all applicants are denied. Many times those applicants make one of the biggest mistakes possible. They file a new claim instead of appealing the denial.

The number-one reason to not file a new claim is one of the most straightforward reasons, the protected filing date. Your protected filing date is based on the date that you first informed the Social Security Administration that you wished to file for disability benefits. This date is used to calculate the amount of back pay you will receive. Once your claim is approved, you will receive all benefits that you would have been paid if you started receiving benefits on your filing date. Starting a new claim starts the whole process over with a new filing date. You are essentially forfeiting any benefits you would have received while the first claim was being processed.

Many times people file a new claim because they have new medical evidence that was not available at the time they initially filed. However, a new claim is not required to have new evidence considered. The appeals process is in place for this reason. During the appeals process, you are expected to gather and present more evidence to the Social Security Administration to verify that you qualify for disability benefits.

The only legitimate reason to file new claim is if you have exceeded the time limit allowed for appeals and are unable to receive an extension. Filing a new claim versus appealing your initial claim is almost always the wrong choice. If your SSDI claim is denied, it’s vital that you contact a Social Security attorney immediately. An attorney will work quickly and effectively to ensure your appeal process runs smoothly.

What are Your Options if Denied a SSDI Claim?

Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Blog, Social Security Disability

If your Social Security disability benefit claim is denied, you are left with few options. Unfortunately, many times people take the initial denial as a final decision and give up on the SSDI process. If your claim is denied, it is essential that you immediately appeal the decision. After receiving your denial notification, you are allowed 60 days to appeal.

Appeal Immediately

A claimant has a much higher chance of being awarded benefits during the Social Security disability appeals process rather than filing a new application. Many claimants are mistaken in their belief that filing a new application will result in being awarded benefits. In reality, subsequent applications are likely to be denied for the same reason as the initial application.

Why is this? Because even though a new claim has been filed, nothing has changed in the approval process. Just like before, an initial claims examiner at the disability determination services (DDS) will review the exact same medical evidence and inevitably reach the same conclusion as the first examiner.

Furthermore, filing a new application will result in a new filing date. On the chance that the claimant is later approved for benefits, they could potentially lose a substantial amount of disability back pay because of the new filing date.

Hire a Disability Attorney

A large majority of SSDI claims are denied at the initial claim and reconsideration levels. This results in most SSDI claims requiring a hearing in front of an administrative law judge before a claimant is likely to receive any benefits. It’s at this point where a disability attorney becomes a vital asset. A Social Security lawyer guarantees that your case will be properly handled and well prepared prior to the hearing date.

The average SSDI claimant is unfamiliar with the claims process and simply lacks the knowledge to prepare a convincing and factual disability case for a hearing. An attorney, on the other hand, has a high level of expertise with Social Security rules and regulations. An experienced Social Security attorney will know what information a judge requires and will be adept at knowing what specific questions to ask your doctor.

Because the vast majority of disability attorneys get paid on contingency, meaning only if your claim is successful, it is always advisable to seek assistance. If an attorney believes you have a legitimate claim, they will do everything possible to give you the best chance of being awarded benefits. This includes gathering important medical records and test results and obtaining detailed records and statements from your treating physicians. At the time of your hearing, you can be assured your attorney will apply a thorough and practical understanding of SSA regulations and prior rulings to the disability review process.

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