How Many Times Can You Be Denied for Disability?
How Many Times Can You Be Denied for Disability?
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How Many Times Can You Be Denied for Disability?
If you suffer from a disability that prevents you from working, you might qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits. Managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the disability benefits program helps disabled workers pay bills and make up for lost wages. Of the millions of Americans that apply for Social Security disability benefits, just 30 percent of the applicants receive approval for their claims. What happens to the remaining 70 percent of Americans that have their disability claims denied? How many times can you get denied for disability?
The answer is not to go through the claims process again by submitting a second claim. Although you reapply for Social Security disability benefits as many times as you want, the most effective way to get your claim approved by the SSA is to go through the appeals process, which consists of four steps that start with the reconsideration of your original claim. Understanding how to file a persuasive initial claim, as well as knowing the four steps of the appeal process, can boost your chances of the SSA approving your claim for Social Security disability benefits.
Filing a disability claim that gets approved by the SSA requires the legal support of an experienced Social Security disability attorney. At Morgan & Morgan, we have a team of litigators that exclusively work on Social Security disability cases. The lawyer that we assign to your case reviews your claim to ensure you have enough medical evidence to justify the SSA approving you to receive financial assistance.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of the state-licensed disability lawyers from Morgan & Morgan.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
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What Is the Process for Filing a Social Security Disability Claim?
The first step in the disability claim process is to meet with one of the highly-rated disability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. Your legal counsel will work closely with you to complete an accurate claim that presents convincing evidence you suffer from a disability. The SSA refers to a medical guide called the Blue Book to determine whether you suffer from a disability. Waiting for a decision from the SSA can take between 90 and 120 days. One of the many benefits of hiring a disability lawyer for your legal counsel is the ability to monitor the progress of your disability claim.
Most of the 70 percent of claims that come back denied do not present sufficient supporting evidence, such as the submission of the results of diagnostic tests. Your disability attorney will ensure you submit more than enough medical evidence to meet the guidelines listed in the Blue Book. However, if your claim comes back denied, your legal counsel prepares you for the appeals process. The answer to the question, “How many times can you get denied for disability?” is there is not a limit established by the SSA for the number of times an applicant can submit a disability claim. However, the answer to the question, “How many times should I apply for disability benefits” should be one.
If your claim is denied by the SSA, you should initiate the appeals process by filing a request for the reconsideration of your original claim.
What Is the SSA Blue Book?
Formerly named Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, the Blue Book lists the medical conditions that might qualify disability applicants for benefits. We use the word “might” because even if your medical condition is listed in the Blue Book as a disability, you still have to present evidence that you suffer from the symptoms listed in the Blue Book. The symptoms of your disabling condition must prevent you from performing “substantial gainful activity,” which is the formal way of saying you cannot work and thus, earn income.
A team of medical examiners from the SSA refers to the Blue Book when analyzing the evidence presented with your disability claim. If the team of medical examiners reviewing your claim does not think you have presented sufficient evidence to prove you suffer from a disability, your claim comes back denied and you have to go through the appeals process to win the approval of your original claim.
What Types of Evidence Do I Need to Submit With a Disability Claim?
The key to getting a disability claim approved by the SSA involves submitting enough evidence to convince the federal agency to provide you with financial assistance. You should submit documents that demonstrate your medical history, as well as the results of clinical examinations. The results of diagnostic tests such as x-rays reveal the extent of your disability. Your healthcare provider should send a document that details your treatments, as well as a description of any physical therapy sessions. One of the most important documents for your healthcare provider to submit is a statement that discusses the prognosis for you to make a full or partial recovery.
Another important document submitted by your healthcare provider is a detailed analysis of why you can no longer work your current job. The SSA is not just a federal agency that denies and approves disability claims. It also works with applicants to help them find another line of work that allows them to remain financially independent. For example, if you suffer from acute arthritis and you work a physically demanding job, your healthcare provider can list the reasons why you cannot complete physically demanding work in addition to offering recommendations on the type of work that can accommodate your disability symptoms.
What Is a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment?
If you cannot work because of a disability, the SSA can request you to go through a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. An RFC assessment determines whether you can handle the mental and physical challenges presented by another occupation. The RFC test you complete measures different mental and physical skills to determine whether you can remain self-sufficient in the workforce.
The SSA frequently requests an RFC assessment for disability applicants as part of the review process. Before approving a claim for financial assistance, the SSA wants to know if you can transition into another career. One of the most important things to remember concerning an RFC assessment is you might not have to complete one that is administered by the SSA. You have the option to have your healthcare provider submit a form that describes your mental and physical capabilities. However, the SSA has the legal power to request you to undergo an RFC assessment conducted by the federal agency to verify the findings presented by your healthcare provider.
Discuss your options with one of our disability attorneys to determine how you should handle an RFC assessment.
What Is the Disability Appeals Process?
The disability benefits appeals process is put in place by the SSA to give denied applicants four more opportunities to get approved for financial assistance. How many times can you get denied for disability is as many times that you file a claim. To prevent the frustration that develops because of repeatedly denied claims, you should work with your disability attorney to file an appeal for reconsideration.
Reconsideration is the refiling of your original claim. Another team of medical examiners at the SSA reviews your claim a second time to determine whether the SSA made a mistake by denying your original claim. You have a better chance of getting the original claim approved than gaining approval during the reconsideration phase of the disability benefits appeals process. Because you probably will not receive approval for your reconsideration appeal, you should prepare for the second step of the disability appeals process.
Hearing in Front of Administrative Law Judge
The second step of the appeals disability appeals process, which is going in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) to present your case, gives you the best chance of overturning the denial of your original claim. You have 60 days from the date of your denied appeal for reconsideration to file the proper paperwork that requests a hearing in front of an ALJ. The ALJ reviewing your case can either approve or deny your appeal, as well as send your claim back to the SSA to reexamine your case.
If you do not agree with the decision issued by the ALJ hearing your case, the next step of the appeals process is to petition the SSA to have your claim reviewed by the Appeals Council. You should know fewer than two percent of all cases that make it to the Appeals Council end in a favorable result for Social Security disability applicants. You must file a Request for Review to the Appeals Council within 60 days of receiving the document concerning the decision issued by the ALJ to deny your appeal.
The Appeals Council can deny or approve your request for financial assistance, as well as send your case back to the ALJ for additional analysis.
Federal District Court
The last step of the disability appeals process involves asking that your case receive a review by the Federal District Court. As with the ALJ, the Federal district Court denies or approves your appeal for disability benefits, as well as can send your claim back to the SSA for further review. The last step of the disability appeals process leads to nearly 30 percent of cases going in the favor of the Social Security disability applicant.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
Because the odds are stacked against you when filing a Social Security disability claim, you should consider hiring an experienced disability lawyer who has worked with clients during the four-step appeals process. Since 1988, Morgan & Morgan has helped clients navigate the often frustrating disability claim filing process. With bills mounting and no money coming in, you should hire a disability lawyer who has compiled an impressive record of helping clients file claims that the SSA approves.
Another reason why you should hire a disability attorney from Morgan & Morgan is that our team of disability lawyers understands the appeals process. If your appeal reaches the second step of the process, having a skilled litigator by your side can make the difference between an ALJ approving your appeal or sending you to the third step of the appeals process. The key to winning an appeal in front of an ALJ is working with a skilled litigator who is persuasive when presenting the evidence gathered for your case.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about the process for filing a Social Security disability benefits claim.
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