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What should I do if my Social Security Disability application gets rejected?

If you’ve been rendered disabled by a serious illness or debilitating injury, it can be scary to apply for the modest but crucial support offered by Social Security Disability, only to be rejected. A surprising number of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications are denied when they’re first submitted. The Social Security Administration reports that, on average, 38% of all SSDI applicants eventually receive some form of benefit pursuant to their application, but the average percentage of individuals whose applications are approved after only their initial application is 24%. A good number of these initial denials are technical, rather than medical, and the application board does not even consider the degree to which the individual is disabled. For example, the Social Security Administration states that a common non-medical reason for denial is that the applicant does not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI payments. Many receive a denial notice and either give up, or believe that they will have better luck by submitting a new application entirely. However, a better course of action may be to request reconsideration of the decision.

The SSDI system rewards those who invest the time it takes to go through the reconsideration and hearing process to appeal a denial. After receiving a notice of denial, you’ll have 60 days to request a reconsideration of the denial. Keep in mind that the rate of approval at the reconsideration stage is also low; in 2012, only 8% of individuals were approved upon reconsideration. Among those who appeal the denial to the administrative hearing stage, however, the approval rate climbs to 66%.

So what makes the approval rate so much higher at the hearing stage? One theory is that most SSDI applicants don’t seek out legal help with their application until they reach the hearing stage. While it is not a requirement that an applicant be represented by an attorney, having someone advocating on your behalf who has an intimate understanding of the SSDI process will greatly increase the likelihood of your application succeeding.

If you have received a denial of your Social Security Disability application, seek out a skilled New York attorney who can help you in a time of need to receive the benefits you’ve been paying toward all your working life. Contact the compassionate and experienced Highland-based Peter M. Cordovano, P.C., attorney at law, for a consultation on your Social Security Disability application, at 845-691-4200.

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