Denied Disability Insurance? Four Steps to get Approved

80% of people are denied disability insurance when they first make a claim to the Social Security Administration. If you are denied disability insurance, you have the ability to appeal the decision. The steps to appeal a denied disability insurance claim are clear, but must be followed specifically.

Step One: Reconsideration

  • You must file your appeal application within 60 days of having your disability insurance claim denied. The count to 60 starts five days after the postmark on the denial letter that you receive in the mail. Click here to access the Request for Reconsideration application
  • After you send in your request for reconsideration, your case will be reviewed by a person that had nothing to do with your original claim. All old evidence, and any new evidence that you submit, will be looked at. 
  • When you appeal your denied disability insurance claim through a request for reconsideration, be aware that only 13% of negative decisions are reversed at this point in the process.  

Step Two: Hearing

  • If you are denied disability insurance and your request for reconsideration is also denied, you have 60 days from the second denial to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). This judge will have had nothing to do with your case beforehand. 
  • Although you may not have a hearing for some time, when the hearing does come around witnesses will be present. The administrative law judge and you will have the opportunity to question the witnesses. Witnesses can be doctors, coworkers, or any other person that can vogue for your case. 
  • At this point in the appeals process, 62% of cases are approved. 

Step Three: Appeals Council Review

  • The appeals council can deny your request for review of a denied disability insurance claim if it agrees with the ALJ’s decision. 
  • The appeals council can either make a decision pertaining to your denied disability insurance claim or it can send the case back to an ALJ.  
  • Only 3% of appeals are reversed at this stage. 

Step Four: Federal Court Review

  • If you disagree with the decision made by the appeals council or the second ALJ, you can file a lawsuit to your federal district court in order to get your denied disability insurance claim reversed. 
  • The federal court is best to contact if you believe that there has been an legal mistake in your case. If you believe that there has been a factual mishap in your case, the federal court may turn your denied disability insurance claim over. 
  • The federal court can either reverse your case or send your denied disability insurance claim back to an ALJ for another review. 
  • 70% of people are denied disability insurance at this stage.

Note: this appeals process applies to denied disability insurance claims that have been made through social security. Collecting other types of disability insurance, such as private or state, requires following different legal processes. 

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