From a construction worker who has worked construction for 30 years to a 20-year veteran nurse, many residents who live in and around the Indianapolis metro have jobs that are physically demanding. Even in cases where an individual is fortunate enough to escape suffering a serious work accident or major injury, over time, repetitive movements like bending, lifting, twisting and even standing for long periods of time can lead to painful and debilitating injuries and conditions that can make it difficult to impossible to work.
If you spent decades working hard to provide for yourself and your family and are now suffering an impairing medical condition such as chronic back or nerve pain, rheumatoid arthritis or chronic bronchitis, you may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of individuals who apply for SSD benefits, discover the hard way that the complex and frustrating process, it also often fruitless. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, only 36 percent of first-time SSD applicants are successful in security benefits. Thankfully, if you are among the 64 percent of SSD applicants whose initial claims are denied, you can appeal your denial.
Appealing Your SSD Denial
- Reconsideration — During the first level of a SDD appeal, you essentially request that your application be reviewed and considered by another employee at the Social Security Administration. Only roughly 10 percent of denied claims that are submitted for reconsideration are successful.
- Administrative Hearing — If reconsideration is not successful, you can request a hearing before an administrative judge who will review all of the information that was included in your initial application as well as any new evidence you choose to introduce.
- Review By Appeals Council — When an administrative hearing does not result in benefits being awarded, you can request that your case be reviewed by the Social Security Appeals Council. It’s important to know, however, that not all review requests are granted and the Appeals Council can decide to let the administrative hearing decision stand.
- Federal Court Review — In cases where the Appeals Council refuses to review your case or you disagree with their ruling, you can take your case to federal court.
If your initial SSD application was denied, there is still hope. Often individuals who should qualify for benefits don’t because their applications were incomplete or their doctor failed to adequately document their disabling injury or condition. If you plan to appeal your SSD denial, it’s wise to seek advice from an attorney. An attorney who is well-versed in SSD matters can review your initial application and denial, answer your questions and work to secure the information and documents you need to obtain benefits.