Every year, millions of people apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). This needs-based program provides monthly cash income for individuals who meet disability criteria.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage of applicants is actually approved. While having your claim denied is a disheartening experience, you still have options.
Understand the denial
Denial of your SSDI claim is not the end of the road. Your first step is to understand the reason for the denial. Common reasons for denial include insufficient medical evidence, incomplete paperwork or application errors.
Gather medical records
To strengthen your SSDI claim, gather your comprehensive medical records. Include doctor’s notes, test results, hospital records and other documentation related to your disability.
Reevaluate your disability
If your condition has worsened over time, collect new evidence to support your condition. Provide detailed records of symptoms, treatments or medications that have changed since your first application.
Seek medical opinions
With your new application, you want to clearly show how your condition adversely impacts your life. Obtain medical opinions from specialists who can attest to the severity of your disability. These opinions are important to the evaluation process and can help establish the necessity for disability benefits.
Complete the reconsideration form
Rather than starting a new application from scratch, you may request that the SSA take a new look at the denied claim. The “Request for Reconsideration” form allows you to amend your initial claim with additional information and supporting documents. Follow the instructions carefully and be sure you include all relevant details.
The SSDI process can be lengthy and may involve multiple appeals. Do not lose hope for an eventual approval. Almost 8 million people receive SSI benefits, and 85% of them have a disability. Be patient, persistent and thorough as you navigate the process.