Did you know that most Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims are denied? According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), more than 7 in 10 initial disability claims are turned down. It is a stunning statistic. At the same time, it is also important to understand that a significant share of initial SSDI denials are eventually overturned—meaning disability benefits are approved—on appeal. In this article, our Social Security disability attorney in Phoenix highlights four things that you need to know about what happens next if your SSDI claim was denied in Arizona.
1. You Have a Right to Challenge the SSA—Your SSDI Denial Can and Should Be Appealed
First and foremost, it is important to emphasize that you always have the right to appeal the denial of your SSDI benefits. A single SSA claims examiner does not have the unilateral authority to make the final call on your application. If you filed an SSDI claim in Phoenix and you believe that were turned down in error, you can and should file an appeal.
2. An Initial Appeal is a Request for Reconsideration (60 Day Deadline)
The first stage of the SSDI appeals process is called Reconsideration. It will involve a senior Social Security claims examiner taking a fresh look at your case. You must file a request for Reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your SSDI denial letter.
3. You Should Be Prepared to Address the Reasons for Denial With Supplemental Records
While Reconsideration is a second look at your claim, you do have the right to “add” to the evidence with supplemental documents and records. For example, if your SSDI claim was rejected due to lack of sufficient medical evidence, you can submit additional records during Reconsideration.
4. A Second Denial Can Be Challenged to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
It is possible to be awarded SSDI benefits on Reconsideration—especially if there was a clear defect in your initial claim that you can address with supplemental records. Still, that does not happen in every appeal. You can take your SSDI claim directly to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) if denied a second time.
5. The Final Stage of the Appeals Process is Federal Court
While federal litigation is relatively uncommon in Social Security disability claims, it is an option. If you were denied at every other stage of the process—application, reconsideration, administrative hearing—then you have the right to file a lawsuit against the SSA. You can go before a federal court in Arizona to seek your Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.
Set Up a Free Consultation With a Social Security Disability Attorney in Phoenix
At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, our Phoenix Social Security disability lawyers are standing by, ready to help protect your rights. If you have any questions about the appeals process, we are here as a legal resource. Call us now or contact us online for a free, no obligation review of your case. We handle SSDI claims and appeals in Phoenix, Maricopa County, and throughout Arizona.