About 65% of all Social Security disability benefits claims are denied at the initial application stage.
Suffering an injury or being diagnosed with a disability can be a very stressful and frightening time. More than likely you will be worried about how you will support yourself and your family, especially if the disability prevents you from carrying out your job.
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can alleviate some of these worries. Unfortunately, there is a significant chance that your application will be denied, even if you rightfully qualify for disability benefits.
Getting an Unfavorable Decision
If your initial disability application was denied, you are not alone. Approximately 65-70% of all initial applicants are denied disability benefits. Though this may seem like a large amount, claims are denied for all different reasons. After you are denied, you will have the option to appeal your decision and improve your claim.
If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits and are faced with an unfavorable decision, do not panic. If you are denied Social Security disability, you can fight the decision. The SSDI and SSI application process includes an involved reconsideration and appeals process, so with the help of a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer or advocate, there is a good chance that you will eventually be awarded the benefits that you rightfully deserve.
Why a Claim May Be Denied
One reason to not panic if your application is denied is that the vast majority of claims (approximately 65%) will be denied at the initial level. This is not to say that they all should have been approved, as false and inappropriate claims are common. As a result, a great deal of scrutiny goes into the application review process used by state-run Disability Determination Services (DDS) in conjunction with the SSA.
Applications that are not well developed run a high risk of denial at any stage. It is an unfortunate fact that due to the overwhelming volume of applications, reviewers at the DDS often wrongfully deny Social Security Disability applications out of hand, particularly if they are perceived as incomplete, improperly filled-out, or simply lacking the medical evidence necessary to prove total disability or inability to work.
Filing an Appeal
While some may feel a great sense of indignity over being denied at the initial stage of a disability application, it is important to remember that such initial-stage denials are actually quite common. By understanding the reconsideration and appeals procedures that are built into the disability application process, and perhaps with the help of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate, you may still have an excellent chance of receiving disability benefits.
Although there is no way to be certain whether you will be awarded SSDI or SSI benefits upon appeal, you can drastically increase your chances by understanding the reasons for denial and then properly addressing them in your appeal. If you have been denied because your medical history is unsubstantial or incomplete, working closely with medical professionals to ensure that you have submitted the appropriate medical documentation and Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form may have an extremely positive impact on your case.
Hiring a qualified Social Security Disability attorney or advocate to help you fully understand and prepare for your appeal, as well as to ensure all appropriate paperwork is in order, can greatly increase your claim’s chances of success. In many cases, disability lawyers and advocates will not only have a vast knowledge of the Social Security application process, but may also have specific insights into the specific requirements for approval at your regional SSA office.