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Steps to take if Social Security denies your claim

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Social Security Disability

Receiving a denial for a Social Security claim can feel disheartening, especially after investing time and effort into the application process. Many individuals depend on these benefits for financial support due to disability, retirement or survivor situations. Though it can be a complication, a denial is not the end of the road. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a comprehensive appeals process in place, designed to ensure that everyone gets a fair review of their claim. Knowing how to navigate this process can turn a moment of frustration into an opportunity for a possible reversal of the decision.

The key is not to panic or give up after receiving a denial. A significant number of claims initially get denied for various reasons, including incomplete application forms or insufficient evidence of disability. However, many of these decisions change after a thorough appeal. Familiarizing yourself with the steps involved in challenging a denial can significantly increase your chances of ultimately receiving benefits. Here, we explore what you should do if the Social Security Administration denies your claim.

Review the denial letter

Carefully read the denial letter from the SSA to understand why they denied your claim. The letter will explain the reasons for the denial and provide information on how to appeal the decision. You must first understand why the SSA denied your claim to prepare your appeal effectively.

File an appeal

Do not delay in filing. You typically have 60 days from the date you receive your denial letter to ask for an appeal. The first step in the appeals process is reconsideration, where someone who did not take part in the first decision reviews your claim.

Collect additional evidence

Gather all evidence that supports your claim. This could include new medical records, doctors’ reports or other documentation that was not available during your initial application. Strong, updated evidence can make the difference in reversing or upholding denial.

Consider consultation

While not required, consulting with someone knowledgeable about the Social Security process, such as a social worker or a disability advocate, can provide valuable guidance. They can help you understand the intricacies of the appeals process and improve your chances of a successful appeal.

Appealing a Social Security denial takes patience and perseverance, but it is a necessary step for those who rely on these benefits.