We recently talked about the 15 reasons people get denied disability. Today, we will explore the first reason claimants get a disability denial.
90% of cases are denied on the first attempt!
So what should you do if you get a disability denial? Appeal the case.
Don’t even think about it. Don’t even cry about it. Just do it!
I know you were waiting for a while for the decision and that you need the money. I understand that. And yes, it sucks! A Lot!
Unfortunately, people have to get very creative with their finances to support themselves during this time. But if you get a denial, giving up or stressing over it will not help you at all! Health or otherwise. Treat the first denial as part of the process and Repeat after me:
80% of claimants receive a disability denial in their first try!
Remember that life goes on and you may get approved in the next round or by a judge on the third round (this varies by jurisdiction!!! Some States only have two rounds, not three!).
A lot of people simply don’t follow through and give up after reading the disability denial letter.
Don’t be one of those people!
In my previous post about canned denial letters, I explained about how the denial letter is mostly a “cookie-cutter“ letter with some paragraphs adapted to your case. Realize that these are letters sent to you hoping you simply accept their reasons for denial and go away.
You are NOT letting this go!! Appeal it!!
I’ve said this in previous posts and I will say it again: people who have received these letters and appealed eventually received benefits, why?
Because the lower level decision makers were either not qualified to make that decision or were simply dead WRONG!
I even tell my clients that they WILL get denied on their first try. I know it’s not very reassuring when someone wants to hire an attorney and they hear that they are going to be denied.
“Why am I hiring you for?” is what I hear. But please understand that even when you have an attorney, there is no guarantee of a quick win. And it may have nothing to do with the competency of the attorney. I see very experienced attorneys lose cases too. So why are cases denied?
What goes on in the underbellies of the Social Security offices across the nation is a mystery
We suspect it has to do with a low budget, overworked and untrained employees, or worse: “clock-watching employees!” (i.e. they simply don’t care and no one has time to oversee what they are doing…or not doing!).
Of course, that will only be changed by getting Congress to do something about it. Until then, we attorneys work with what we have and do our best to get results as quick as we can, why?
Attorneys don’t get paid UNTIL AND IF you win
So when an attorney tells their prospective client that they are going to lose we know the battle is not over and success is on its way!
You should not give up!
Did you ever hear that “when the crew is in panic, that’s when you should panic”? If an attorney is telling you not to panic over that first denial that means it’s not the time to panic! (that simple?! Yes! That simple).
I know what you’re thinking, “I’m panicking because of the money situation!” Yes, it’s a good reason to panic but the world was not built in one day and all I can say is:
Pretty Please: Don’t give up!
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I know the wait is brutal on the finances but once you win (Positive thinking!) you will have an accrued amount of back pay to catch up with the bills. No, it doesn’t stop the collector calls during that waiting period but I want you to know that it gets better.
Now, on the second run (after you appeal that first denial) or what it’s called the Reconsideration phase (please check in your jurisdiction! Your State may not have this phase), your chance of getting benefits increases a little more. Either because your evidence is good enough for them, or you finally retained an attorney who gathered just the right documents for a win.
If you get denied after the Reconsideration period (yes, jurisdiction check!), you can appeal to request a hearing. No, you cannot get a hearing once you initially file and skip a phase. A lot of people ask me about that.
Unfortunately, you have to go through all the appeal levels available in your jurisdiction before you see a judge.
The hearing track is the most important phase in a disability case
And that’s why I always urge people to not go it alone in this phase. It’s not impossible to win without an attorney but most people are not prepared for the work involved.
Most people go in and believe that the evidence will take care of it all. Others don’t send any evidence in and rely on the fact that Social Security ordered records in the earlier phase(s).
The hearing level comes after the Reconsideration period (Check your jurisdiction!). Once you request your hearing (a request for hearing is another appeal) your file will leave the local office and will be sent to the ODAR (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review) or “the hearing office“.
This is the time you will be seeing a judge in person or by video conference. Most cases are awarded in this phase of the process.
And yes, in some jurisdictions it can take a few years!
There are a couple of more phases of appeal potential in case you don’t win your claim after seeing a judge. But they are so complex that I would NEVER, EVER recommend anyone trying that on their own. Please call an attorney if you are in that situation!!
If you get denied, appeal! No excuses and no giving up here! Not my readers, at least.
So get out there and make “mama” proud!
Books By Realtactics4DisabilityClaims
Learn the ins and outs of filing your Social Security Disability Claim with Real Tactics For Filing Your Disability Claim. This book was written by Yours Truly and it was created for those claimants who wish to learn more about the process in language they can understand.
You will also learn how to read your medical records so you can see if they are supporting your claim, and learn how to organize your file so you never lose track of your treatment.
Finally, I offer an exclusive Facebook group just for the book where you can ask questions about the concepts you learned in the book.
My book is available on Amazon Kindle and paperback. Simply click on the image below and grab your copy today!
Courses by Realtactics4disabilityclaims.com
You just learned that you should never give up on your claim just because you were denied. Also, you should take advantage of this “new round” to improve your medical records for a better chance at winning your claim (even if it takes longer than you expected) by learning how to read them to see if they are actually supporting your disability. This may be one of the reasons you were denied.
Learn how to read and how to improve your medical records like a pro with my new course “Medical Records Reading 101 for Disability Claimants”. Stop wasting time “hoping for the best” with your current records. The course also includes a Checklist and Worksheet so you can keep track of your treatment to make sure you don’t have any “gaps” that could jeopardize your claim. Take a quick “free sneak peek” before you purchase the course and learn the ins and outs of improving your medical records with actionable instructions from Yours Truly (Yes, Me!).
If you were denied disability and you are looking to appeal with “better” evidence, I created a course about using a Residual Functional Capacity Report to add to your medical records. This is a form you can take to your doctor to complete in support of your claim. The course includes forms for physical or mental impairments and instructions on how to ask your doctor to complete them. You can take a “free sneak peek” to see if this course is for you. Click on the image below and you will be directed to the course page:
Also, if you are looking to file for disability and don’t know where to start, I created a course called the “5 Day File your Disability Claim” Guide where I teach you every step you should take to file your claim.
Simply click on the image below and it will take you directly to the course page. Take a “free sneak peek” of the first lesson to see if this course is for you.
You know the blog, now you can take one step further and learn the process of preparing and filing your claim.
Before you go:
The graphic below will give you the big picture of each phase of the process in a clear and concise way. You can print it and post on your refrigerator so you always have it handy. Again, pretty please check your jurisdiction because some of these phases may not be available in some States!
Join me next time for the Second Reason people get denied.
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