Of the more than 6 million people living in the State of Louisiana, 3.9 % receive Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits. Every year, thousands of people apply to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) for disability benefits.
Thousands may apply but more than half of these applications will be denied initially.
What Can You Do if Denied Benefits?
Before we look at what you can do if denied benefits, it is important to understand how important your disability application is. Disability claims get denied for a number of reasons, however, many people make the mistake of not realizing just how important their application is.
Incomplete applications and applications that are not supported by current medical records showing your limitations and how they affect your ability to work (for SSDI) will make a denial more likely.
So it is important that you make sure you submit an application that is as complete as possible and that is supported by sufficient medical evidence.
All states have a disability appeal process that you can follow if you are denied disability benefits.
In Louisiana, the first appeal you can take after a denial is to ask for a “reconsideration.” You must file your request for reconsideration within 60 days of the date of your denial. The SSA will generally allow an additional 5 days for mailing.
Your chances of having your claim denied at the reconsideration level are actually higher than on the initial claim.
Because reconsiderations are conducted in exactly the same way as the initial claim is evaluated. The only difference is that on reconsideration, a different disability examiner will be looking at your claim. So, unless you have new and compelling evidence, chances are high that your claim will be denied again.
Following reconsideration, if your claim is denied again, you may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). If you did not hire an attorney after your initial denial, you will absolutely want to hire one now. It’s not easy to prepare and present a case for hearing. And statistics show that claimants who are represented by competent disability counsel have a far better chance of being awarded benefits at the hearing stage than those who do not hire counsel.
The road to disability benefits is a long and difficult one. But if you are denied benefits, you do have several opportunities to turn that initial decision around.
Speak to Experienced Disability Counsel ToDay.
At the Day Law Group, we represent Louisiana claimants who need social security disability benefits. Our disability practice encompasses both SSDI and SSI claims. We offer free consultations, and we don’t get paid unless you win. Contact us ToDay or call (225) 465-1232.