Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides monthly benefits to disabled individuals. This federal program offers monthly payments to individuals who have a disability or require special health care needs. A person who has paid into the system through their Social Security taxes could qualify for benefits if they can no longer earn a living.
Children with disabilities are able to claim SSDI benefits in two ways. First, a child could have earned their own benefits based on their work record. The second, and more likely way, is when an adult child receives benefits through their parent’s Social Security benefits. In either situation, your child must still qualify for the claimed benefits.
Over half of all initial Social Security Disability benefits claims are denied. Therefore, if you receive a denial letter, it is not time to panic – there are options available to appeal the original decision. In many situations, a claim is denied because the claimant failed to include enough medical documentation or made an error in the application process. Our experienced Fayetteville, AR Social Security Disability attorneys could help you avoid many of the common mistakes found in initial claims or handle your appeal. Call Gunn, Kieklak, & Dennis, LLP at (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free appointment.
Reasons for a Denial
SSDI claims are denied regularly. In fact, over half of all initial claims are denied. While every case is unique, there are some common reasons the SSA denies a benefits claim.
Insufficient Medical Evidence
In most cases, claims are denied because the claimant failed to provide enough medical evidence to support the alleged severity of their medical condition. Our Arkansas Social Security Disability attorneys have been handling benefits claims for over twenty years – we understand the type of medical documentation that is required.
Failing to Follow Medical Treatment
It is critical to show that you or your child is following your doctor’s instructions. Failure to follow a treatment plan, take medication, or attend appointments will result in a rejection or termination of benefits. If you or your child cannot follow a treatment plan, you must provide adequate reasons why in your appeal.
Not Cooperating with the SSA
During the application process, the SSA could make many requests. If documents are required, they should be supplied promptly. Missing deadlines or not responding to the SSA will result in your claim being denied. Our Arkansas Social Security Disability lawyers will help you ensure no deadlines are missed.
Appealing an SSDI Denial
There are many reasons why an SSDI benefits claim is denied. If you were notified that your claim was denied, you should contact one of our Arkansas Social Security Disability lawyers immediately. The one thing you should never do is file another claim. In nearly every case, if you file a new application, it will be denied for the same reasons. There is an appeals process that you should follow. Typically, you have 60 days from the date you receive notice of the denial to request an appeal.
The first type of appeal is a request for reconsideration. When you ask the SSA to reconsider your application, someone who was not involved in the original decision will review your initial application along with the documentation you provided. You are also permitted to submit additional evidence at this time. Many claims are denied because the initial claim lacked sufficient medical documentation or evidence to demonstrate the severity of the medical condition. It is usually advisable to supplement the medical evidence that was originally provided. The denial letter could give you some direction as to why your initial claim was rejected.
Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge
If you disagree with the findings at the reconsideration level, you have the right to ask for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). A heading will be scheduled that is convenient for you. Typically, the SSA will try to hold the hearing within 75 miles of your home.
During the hearing, our seasoned trial lawyers will present evidence, including medical documentation and potential witnesses. The ALJ could ask you questions regarding you and your child’s claim. It is important to answer all questions honestly and without exaggerating any symptoms or claims. If you do not appear creditable, the ALJ will likely rule against you.
Review by Appeals Council
If you are unsatisfied with the administrative law judge’s determination, you have the right to file an appeal with the Appeals Council. Once the Appeals Council reviews your claim, three outcomes are possible. The Appeals Council will deny your claim if it finds that the ALJ’s decision followed Social Security Disability regulations and guidelines. If the Appeals Council believes the ALJ was mistaken, your claim could be granted. Finally, the Appeals Council could send your case back to the ALJ for further review.
File a Case in Federal Court
If the Appeals Council denies your claim, you have one more option. You have the right to file a civil suit in federal district court. At this point, it is very challenging to have an adverse decision overruled. If your case has reached this level and you have not talked with our Bella Vista Social Security lawyers, you should do so immediately.
Call Our Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys to Appeal Your Benefits Claim Denial
Individuals and families in Arkansas depend on Social Security Disability benefits to make ends meet. If your child’s claim is denied, you have options. However, you should have our knowledgeable Rogers Social Security Disability lawyers advocating for your rights. With over two decades of experience, the attorneys and staff at Gunn, Kieklak, & Dennis, LLP understand the SSDI claims and appeals process. Call (479) 316-0438 to discuss your next step.