Here’s a common scenario: You’ve applied for disability benefits and think that it shouldn’t be a big deal getting approved. After all, you know plenty of people who are receiving disability benefits. And, you’re really disabled. Unfortunately, SSA may not see it that way. And the worst and unexpected thing happens – you receive a denial.
Don’t worry. Just because your application has been denied, it does not mean that it is the end of the road for you. The following steps will guide you through the process of appealing your claim:
- Keep track of your deadline: You typically only have 60 days to appeal a decision. However, in some cases, you need to appeal within 10 days. You may lose out on benefits if you do not file an appeal on time.
- Hire an experienced Social Security disability attorney:Find an experienced disability attorney. He or she will guide you through the process of applying and appealing; identify the strengths and weaknesses in your case; explain how those problems can be overcome; and obtain the necessary evidence to win your case.
- Know what evidence is necessary: Many cases are denied because there are no functional assessments from your treating sources. For example, if you are a 52 year old individual, who has a 10th grade education, worked as a truck driver and now suffers from back problems (which do not meet or equal a listed impairment), you must be able to show that you cannot perform the physical demands of your past work and that at best are limited to “sedentary” work. A functional assessment form is an excellent way of identifying these limitations. A skilled attorney will obtain this evidence for your case.
In other situations, SSA denies cases because medical evidence from a particular period is missing. Let’s say that you last worked in 2005 and now have a “date last insured” of 2010. That means we must establish that your disability began before your insured status expired in 2010. If you are unrepresented and are only obtaining and submitting current medical evidence, you will not be found disabled. That’s why you should contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Green and Green for a free evaluation of your case.