A long-term disability can be easier to endure with the guarantee of social security disability income. Don't give up if your application was denied. There are options for appealing the decision.
1. Learn Your Appeal Options
There are several different types of disability appeals. You can request a simple reconsideration of your original application, schedule an administrative law judge hearing, or put your appeal to an appeals council review. The type of appeal you choose depends on your specific case and the reason for the refusal of benefits. A disability lawyer can explain the options and help you determine which type of appeal is best for your case.
2. Submit Everything On Time
Your denial letter will include information on filing an appeal. Arguably the most important information in the letter is the deadline for filing, as you will lose your eligibility to appeal after that date. Mark the date on your calendar and set a reminder to submit the appeal a few days ahead of the deadline. That way you have a small buffer zone if there are any issues during submission.
3. Write a Detailed Letter
The appeals form only allows for a few sentences to detail your reason for appeal. The good news is that you are allowed to attach an appeals letter to the document, simply indicate on the form that there is an attached page. Take advantage of this allowance to write a detailed letter on why your appeal should be granted. Your lawyer can advise you on what to include in the letter, as well as how to best format it for success.
4. Talk With Your Doctor
You can request a statement from your doctor and include it with your appeal form. Schedule the visit right away so that there is time for your doctor to draft the letter prior to the submission guideline. Your doctor's letter should include their professional viewpoint on the extent of the disability, its expected impact on your ability to support yourself in both the near future and long term, and any other information that would pertain to your SSI appeal.
5. Include ALL Documentation
Your denial letter will include the reason(s) for denial, and some of those reasons may pertain to insufficient documentation. Make sure to include copies of any documentation requested, as well as any other documentation that you or your lawyer thinks may aid your appeal. Work and medical records, impairment evaluation, and a description of the disability and effects on your life are examples of documentation to include.
Contact a social security disability lawyer, such as Willis Spangler Starling, for more help with your SSI appeal.