How to Appeal & Win a Denied Social Security Disability Claim in Arkansas
Did you know that the Social Security Administration only approves 36 percent of initial disability applications? The second level of review after an initial denial only has an approval rating of 14 percent. While these statistics seem dismal, applicants who keep appealing these denials are more likely to obtain approval. During the third level of appeal before an administrative law judge, 62 percent of previously denied applications are approved.
What does this mean for you and your SSDI claim? This means that disabled Americans often have to fight aggressively to have their claims approved.
If you received an SSDI claim denial, you might feel like the situation is hopeless. You may even begin to question if your disability is serious enough to obtain benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security disability claims process is difficult and complex. It requires the services of an experienced and skilled Arkansas SSDI attorney.
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Reasons Your SSDI Benefits Claim Might Be Denied
There are many reasons why the SSA might deny your initial SSDI claim. Some of those reasons are technical mistakes and others are related to your specific medical disability.
Some of the reasons your initial SSDI benefits claim might be denied include:
For 2021, this is $1,310 per month or $2,190 per month for a blind applicant.
If you have not worked five of the ten years prior to the onset of disability, you may not qualify.
Unfortunately, previous SSDI denials can make it difficult to obtain disability benefits when re-applying.
To receive disability benefits, you must be disabled for a continuous period of 12 months.
This is one of the most common reasons for the denial. You must show that you are unable to work due to your disability.
Waiting too long to apply for benefits could reduce your chances of receiving approval.
If you failed to follow all prescribed medical treatment, the SSA will likely deny your claim. They will claim that your worsening condition was related to failure to follow medical advice and not from the actual medical condition.
If your medical condition is not severe enough to qualify you for SSDI benefits, the SSA will deny your claim.
As you can see, there are many reasons the SSA may initially deny your claim. While this might seem discouraging, it just means you have to fight harder and build a stronger case.
However, you don’t have to do this alone.
You need an experienced Arkansas SSDI lawyer on your side to help you through the appeals process. Your attorney will be able to strengthen your case and gather the evidence needed to win approval.
Gather Evidence and Medical Source Statements
If you fail to convince the SSA that your impairment is severe enough to warrant benefits, you will likely get a denial. This is one of the main reasons the SSA denies disability claims. During the appeals process, you and your Arkansas SSDI benefits attorney have a chance to gather more evidence to prove your claim.
Medical evidence is extremely important because it gives you a chance to show the SSA how your disability truly affects your entire life and your ability to work.
Some of the best evidence you can provide are medical source statements from your doctors and medical team. These statements provide an opportunity for your doctors to connect your symptoms and impairments to your ability to perform daily activities. This is invaluable to show because it puts your diagnostic test results in context for the SSA.
Other types of medical evidence could include:
- Residual functional capacity forms
- Medical testimony
- Reports and testing
- Changes in your medical condition
Since most claims are denied because of a failure to demonstrate the severity of your medical condition, it is often necessary to start over when compiling the right evidence. Our Arkansas disability lawyers can work to gather new and extensive medical evidence and documentation for your claim.
Contact us to discuss your case.
File a Request for Reconsideration
When you retain our services, our Arkansas SSDI benefits attorneys will immediately go to work for you. This means we will examine your case and the reasons for the denial. We will speak with your medical team and gather the necessary medical evidence. Once we do this, we must file a request for reconsideration. This request needs to be filed within 60 days of your denial, so there is little time to waste.
When you file for reconsideration, you are telling the SSA that you would like them to review your case. This is the time to provide the SSA with more evidence so that your application has a better chance of being approved.
Request a Hearing in Front of an Administrative Law Judge
After you request a reconsideration, the SSA will issue their judgment. If you are unhappy with their decision, you can go further in the appeals process. The next step for you and your attorney is to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. This hearing will be done somewhere within 75 miles of your home.
During this hearing, your lawyers will present further evidence, have medical experts testify on your behalf, and call witnesses that could benefit your case. Once your attorney has presented the evidence and made your case, the Administrative Law Judge will decide whether to uphold the SSA’s original decision or grant you benefits.
Ask for an Appeals Council Review
If you are still unhappy with the decision, you and your SSDI attorney can request a review by the Appeals Council. You must make this request within 60 days of your last appeal, or you may not be able to move forward in the appeals process. You can present new evidence during this appeal. However, any new evidence must be new material.
If the Appeals Council does decide to review your claim, one of three things may occur:
- Benefits denied by upholding ALJ’s decision
- Disability benefits granted
- Remand your case back to the ALJ for further review
Seek a Federal Court Review
What happens if you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision? If the Appeals Council does not review your case or if you disagree with their decision to deny disability benefits, you can take one final step in the appeals process. You can file a suit in federal district court. This action is filed in the district court for the judicial district you live in. If you choose this route, you must file this civil action within 60 days of the Appeals Council’s decision.
Social Security Disability Resources
Contact Our Arkansas SSDI Attorneys
If you received an SSDI claim denial, you need a law firm on your side that can help you through the complex appeals process.
We can help you file the disability claims you need, handle the appeals process, and prevent errors that might jeopardize your claim.
With eight offices in Arkansas and Tennessee – Little Rock, Little Rock-Corporate Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, and Memphis—our Arkansas and Tennessee SSDI lawyers are easily accessible from the moment you need us. Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton injury lawyers today. Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial –(800) 434-4800 and tell us your story.
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