If you have been diagnosed with Arnold-Chiari Malformation, you may be able to obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if your disability prevents you from working. It is common for applicants to have their initial application for disability benefits rejected. You shouldn’t give up on your application for benefits as you are entitled to appeal the SSA’s decision. If you provide better documentation to support your application and get legal help to guide you through the appeal process, you may have a better chance of having the denied benefits decision overturned.
Filing an Appeal for Disability Benefits With Arnold-Chiari Malformation
There is an established procedure for appealing a denied disability benefits application. There are four recognized steps that you can go through, which have time limits attached to them. You may have your benefits application accepted at any of the four steps.
You must ask for a reconsideration of your application within 60 days of receipt of the letter advising you that your application was denied to start the appeal process rolling. Further steps, if reconsideration is unsuccessful, involve a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ), a request for a review by the Appeals Council and finally file a civil action in the Federal District Court.
How to File a Successful Appeal for Disability Benefits With Arnold-Chiari Malformation
It is good practice to determine why your application failed in the first place before appealing the decision. Whatever the reasons you determine caused the denied application, the faster you request a reconsideration (normally made by someone different from the first application), the better.
The SSA matches the evidence you have which show you have symptoms of Arnold-Chiari Malformation which match the criteria they have in the Blue Book. If you have insufficient evidence, or the symptoms you have evidence of do not seem serious enough, then this is a common reason for a rejected application. If this is the reason, you should attempt to obtain more convincing evidence of your disabling condition, including documentation of medical history, how the condition first manifested itself, diagnosis, tests, scans, medication and other medical treatment.
The SSA also needs firm evidence that you cannot support yourself financially through employment or other gainful work for at least the next 12 months. If this is in doubt, then your application is likely to be rejected. One way to confirm your inability to keep working is to request a residual functional capacity assessment (RFC) from your doctor. The RFC assessment tests your ability to perform physical and mental tasks and will determine what you can and cannot do.
Why Was My Arnold-Chiari Malformation Claim Denied?
The most common reasons why your claim for benefits was denied include:
- insufficient medical evidence to match the SSA’s criteria for Arnold-Chiari Malformation
- failure to show that your disability prevents you from working for at least 12 months;
- insufficient work credits for an SSDI benefit.
Get Help With Your Appeal
Arnold-Chiari Malformation can be a seriously disabling condition and can prevent you from working and obtaining an income. Unfortunately, it is common for initial claims for disability benefits to be denied. Fortunately, the appeal process allows many applicants to eventually have their claims accepted. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.