Denied Social Security? Don't Give Up

It's an unfortunate fact: many applicants for Social Security get a letter of adverse action in their mail after months of hopeful waiting. While your initial emotions are likely to be disappointment, you should not allow that to keep you from taking the second chance that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is offering you. Every applicant who gets denied is given an opportunity to file an appeal and be heard by an SSA appeals officer. Read on to learn more about taking advantage of this opportunity and how to ensure that you get the benefits you need.

Be very aware of the deadline: The SSA only gives you 60 days to file an appeal, and that time can pass surprisingly quickly if you don't stay on top of it. You may recall the mounds of paperwork you had to fill out to apply for Social Security initially, and you could end up back at the beginning if you miss this deadline. Your best course of action is to get a Social Security attorney to help you with your appeal; that way you will be sure to submit the correct paperwork as soon as possible. If some unexpected event, like a medical problem or a hospitalization, caused you to miss the appeals deadline, your attorney may be able to get you an extension if you can show good cause.

Consider the reason for the denial: Take a look at the letter to see exactly why the SSA turned down your request, since the appeal is your chance to alleviate that issue. Many applicants greatly underestimate the importance of their medical records when they apply for Social Security. The SSA wants to see proof that you have a medical condition, proof that you are getting treatment for that condition and that you are getting ongoing treatment. If you failed to show that proof the first time around, now you need to procure the needed proof and records to present at the appeal hearing. It is not always easy to get the records you need, but a Social Security attorney will know their way around this issue and ensure you get the proof you need.

Don't try to go it alone: Appearing before the hearing officer can be a nerve-wracking experience, but you don't need to go through this alone. You can have a Social Security attorney be there for you every step of the way; to get you ready for the appearance and to get you the benefits you deserve. Speak to an attorney about how you can get representation without having to pay any money upfront through the contingency fee arrangement, and get the help you need.