An overwhelming 70% of all Social Security Disability claims are denied the first time.1 The main reason? Incomplete or improperly completed applications. In 2017, more than 2.6 million Americans applied for Social Security Disability. Reports show that two-thirds of those applications (1.8 million) received denials.2 Applications that are not well developed run a high risk of being denied at any stage. Unfortunately, with the large volume of applications, reviewers at the Social Security Administration (SSA) often wrongfully deny Social Security Disability applications at the slightest detected error, such as incomplete forms, improperly filled-out applications, insufficient evidence to prove disability, and even typos! If your claim for Social Security Disability has been denied, do not become discouraged. You can appeal the SSA’s decision and still get the benefits you deserve. Here’s how:
How to file a Social Security Disability appeal in Florida
You have 60 days from the date you receive notice of the SSA’s of denial to appeal the decision. The SSA allots an additional five days for the mailing of the decision notice, so the overall number of days is technically 65; however, you have just 60 days to submit your appeal. Should you miss the 60-day window, you may still be able to file an appeal. If you have a valid reason for being late with your appeal, such as a serious medical emergency, you can still file an appeal if you simultaneously submit a “good cause” statement, detailing the circumstances preventing you from filing on time. We highly recommend consulting a disability attorney if you find yourself filing an appeal beyond the 60-day deadline. The process can be particularly challenging and often results in repeat denials.
Steps of the appeal process
Request reconsideration Step one is to file for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving the notice of denial. This is done by completing a Request for Reconsideration form that can either be obtained at our four law offices or on the SSA’s website. When you file a request for reconsideration with the SSA, your application will be sent back to the Social Security office for review. The same office that handled your initial application will also be handling your request for reconsideration, but it will not be the same examiner. However, it’s important to understand that all SSA reviewers are bound by the same rules and checklists. Therefore, it is highly unlikely your denied claim will be approved in the reconsideration phase. In fact, 86% of Social Security Disability claims are denied at the reconsideration level.2 The few that are approved almost always take step two. Review your initial application Before sending in your reconsideration form, carefully review your application. Chances are, your application is missing vital information. If you file for reconsideration, you need to provide the SSA with updated medical records, including doctor visits, test results, medications and therapies. You should also include documentation of any work issues you have encountered because of your disability. Consulting a disability attorney is your best chance of having your application approved at the reconsideration level because he or she will be able to guide you through the forms and answer any questions you may have. If you choose to appeal on your own, here are some tips to successful appeals:
Tips for successful appeals
- File a request for reconsideration as soon as possible. Even though you have 60 days to file, submitting a request sooner than later helps the process.
- Include ongoing medical records to the SSA. Submit new information and updates to medications.
- Frequently check on the status of your application. Paperwork can get lost in the shuffle. Communicate with the SSA and keep track of your application to avoid an unnecessary denial.
Receive approval with the help of experienced Florida Social Security Disability attorneys
Our Florida Social Security disability attorneys, led by Louis Turco and Ian Lloyd, have decades of experience helping applicants file their application or put forth strong appeals. If you want help securing the disability benefits you or a loved one needs to meet the cost of living expenses, then you can speak with an experienced Social Security disability attorney in Florida for absolutely free at one of our four Treasure Coast offices. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation discussing your Social Security disability case now by using our form to contact us online, or by calling 866-460-1990.