No one who loves their career ever imagines that they will have to stop working and live on disability benefits. After all, only those with severe injuries and limitations on their daily functions can typically qualify for disability benefits.
However, thousands of Americans every year face that difficult reality. Whether you got hurt in a car crash, diagnosed with cancer or seriously injured at work, you may have a medical condition that prevents you from working anymore. If the condition is severe, you may not even be able to take care of yourself at home without support from a family member or a medical professional.
People in these difficult scenarios can turn to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to help replace the income they can no longer earn. Unfortunately, those with serious medical conditions often receive a rejection letter instead of a benefit approval notice. How should you respond if the Social Security Administration (SSA) tries to deny your benefits claim?
Learn about your right to an appeal
Receiving a rejection letter is not the end of the road for an SSDI applicant. For many successful SSDI claimants, that letter was merely one of the earliest stages in the claims process.
You have the right to file an appeal if you believe that the denial of your SSDI claim was unfair. You may be able to connect with the benefits you need by reworking your application, having someone else review your claim or presenting your case in front of an administrative law judge.
How should you prepare for an appeal?
The nature of your medical condition and the reason for your benefits denial will both influence the right steps to take while preparing for an appeal.
Sometimes, there are merely technical mistakes on the paperwork that you have to correct. Other times, you may need to gather more medical documentation. Once you know what led to the negative outcome, you can correct the issue in hopes of succeeding in your appeal. Even if your early-stage appeals are not successful, you can continue appealing, even after you have a hearing with a judge.
Knowing your rights as an SSDI applicant can help you get the support you need.