Don’t be disheartened if your Social Security benefits application is denied—many appeals often turn out favorable, especially Social Security disability appeals. Before you decide to appeal, of course, make sure that you actually qualify for benefits, i.e. your disability or injury prevents you from working. Here’s what to expect if you’ve received a social security denial and wish to appeal it.
Send the Appeal on Time
You have 60 days after receiving your social security denial to send in your completed appeal forms—or 65 days if you received your denial in the mail. The forms you use are dependent on the circumstances of your social security denial. Complete the Form SSA-561-U2 (Request for Reconsideration) if you are appealing an initial claim denial. To appeal a denial of disability benefits, you will also need to complete and send in Form SSA-3441-BK (Disability Report—Appeal).
You could also be appealing a denial to continue your disability benefits after you had already been receiving them. In this case, there are different forms you will need to fill out: Form SSA-789-U4 (Request for Reconsideration—Disability Cessation) and Form SSA-3441-BK (Disability Report— Appeal).
What to Include
The social security denial appeal forms are meant to allow you to explain why you should receive or continue receiving disability benefits. In addition to basic information, such as your name and social security number, you will also be given space to explain why you think your denial is unfair.
It’s a good idea to include convincing evidence that your social security denial was unfair. It can be tricky to figure out what to include in your appeal, as it takes thinking about why someone would deny your application for benefits in the first place. Often it is easier to deal with such complex and conflicting information, and hiring an attorney focusing on social security appeals is always a good investment.
Levels of Appeal
After you’ve submitted your appeal, there are four possible stages the appeal could go through:
- Reconsideration: an informal review in your local Social Security office
- Administrative judge hearing: an independent review of what the SSA office has decided, sometimes by someone on the outside
- Appeal to the Social Security National Appeals Council in Washington, D.C.
- Lawsuit filed in federal court
Contact the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour
Dealing with a social security denial can be a long, taxing process that may not lead anywhere if you don’t have an expert backing you up. You would greatly benefit from a legal team with both medical knowledge and legal expertise. Attorney Bill LaTour is a licensed clinical psychologist in addition to a legal expert. Our firm knows SSDI and SSI legal nuances inside and out in order to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. If you’re injured, ill or disabled, and need to speak with a lawyer, we’ll come to you no matter where you’re located in Southern California. Contact us today if you need to appeal a social security denial.