If I am denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, should I start over or appeal that decision?

Many disability claimants make the mistake of filing another initial Social Security disability application when they are denied disability benefits the first time. The Social Security Administration (SSA) gives the disability claimant 60 days plus some mailing time to file the first disability appeal or commonly known as “The Request for Reconsideration”.  There is no reason to start all over; this will only make your wait for a final disability determination even longer.  Now, while you may have 60 days to appeal the Social Security Administration’s denial of your disability claim, there is usually no reason to wait.  This is a lengthy process and by dragging your feet, you can only delay it.  Many disability claimants find it helpful to hire a Social Security disability lawyer after the initial denial as the process can be confusing.   So, now that you have filed your appeal or “Request for Reconsideration” and you find the Social Security Administration has denied you once again; what can you do next?

The next step is to file a “Request for a Hearing in front of  an Administrative Law Judge”.  Once again, the Social Security Administration is going to allow you 60 days plus some mailing time to file the proper forms.  Like the “Request for Reconsideration” you previously filed, if you are beyond the time limit, you may be required to start all over at the initial application stage.  Now, that you have requested a hearing, the Social Security Administration should let you know they received your request.  So, what can you do now?  Wait.  Unfortunately, there is currently a very lengthy wait in Indianapolis for your case to be heard in front of an Administrative Law Judge. There are things you can do to possibly enhance your chances of winning during this long wait.  See your medical health professionals. Good medical records can be the key to a successful outcome in your Social Security disability case.  Also, keep you attorney advised of your condition and update your lawyer with any change of address or phone number.  

If you do not meet a deadline, there are reasons you may supply the Social Security Administration as to why you are untimely filing.  These reasons may be sufficient or may be denied.  Attorney Scott D. Lewis advises his clients not to leave this to the discretion of the Social Security Administration and try to be on time with filing your appeal. 

When trying to get your Social Security disability benefits, it is more akin to a marathon than a sprint.  It is important to meet deadlines and to be patient.   If you have questions regarding your Social Security disability appeal, you can contact Attorney Scott D Lewis for a free consultation at (317) 423-8888.

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