Social Security Disability: Why You Shouldn't Worry If You're Not Approved The First Time You Apply
The approval of a Social Security Disability claim seems like heaven has finally heard your call for financial help as you deal with the debilitating effects of an injury or disease. For many applicants, though, relief may seem very far away as they find their initial claim denied. This obviously isn't good, but it's not something you should panic about. Denials of initial claims are almost something to expect -- and you still have options afterward.
Denial Is Very Common
The denial of an initial Social Security Disability claim is extremely common. If you know others receiving disability payments, chances are they had to apply again or appeal the denial to get approved. While the additional time you'll have to spend waiting for a second decision can be difficult, keep in mind that it is so common as to be normal. Just remember that most people in your situation went through the same thing -- and many of them eventually got approved.
It's Often Due to Administrative Issues
The Social Security Administration is not mean; they aren't denying your claim because they are bored. Many times the denial is due to simple administrative issues that you can clear up during your appeal. For example, your doctor may have worded something in your medical records in a way that was ambiguous and could be read as more or less serious than your actual condition. That can be cleared up. Or, maybe you forgot to answer a couple of questions on a form, or you misinterpreted what a question was really asking.
One area that often trips up the process is how well you follow your doctor's treatment plan for you. This is not the time to ignore what you might think are strange or pointless therapies -- if your doctor has made them part of the plan, he or she had a reason. If you still don't understand what a particular treatment is supposed to do, clear that up with your doctor immediately. Fully understanding and following your treatment plan is a big plus in your favor.
You Have Appeal Options
If something went wrong with your initial application, you can appeal, and your Social Security Disability attorney will help you get through the process. The initial denial is not the end of the story, and you do get second chances. You'll need to follow instructions carefully -- follow your doctor's orders to the letter, too -- and talk to your lawyer if you are confused about any part of the process.
No one can guarantee acceptance, but appealing a Social Security Disability denial often leads to approval when you have the right people working with you. Remember that this process is not unique and that there is a reason for every step.