If I get denied disability benefits at a hearing, what next?

If you are denied Social Security Disability benefits at a hearing, it is natural for you to think that there is no hope that you will be approved for SSDI benefits. And to be sure, being denied after this hearing is a definite setback for someone seeking benefits, especially if they cannot engage in work that earns enough money to live on. Additionally, you have probably been in the application and appeals process for a long time, and you may feel defeated.

What Is Next?

Social Security Disability benefits help to secure for you financial certainty into the future, while you are unable to work. If you have been denied this right and you have no other source of income you are going to be hit hard by the decision.

One of the single most common reasons for a denial at a hearing is because you have thought the process was simple and failed to hire a disability attorney to guide you through the process. However, you don’t need to give up as you are allowed to appeal the denial even if it took place at a hearing.

This time your case will be filed with the Appeals Council. The decision of the hearing will be reviewed and you will be informed of the outcome. It your appeal is still denied then the matter will go to the Federal District Court as long as you appeal the decision.

If you can provide any new medical evidence in relation to your disability your attorney may suggest starting a new claim. This has a higher chance of being successful.

Reasons Why You May Have Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits

Unfortunately statistics indicate that just 30% of applications for Social Security Disability Benefits finally get approved. If you study the following reasons for a denial you are in a better situation and harnessed with more knowledge to help you successfully win a claim.

The commonest reasons of a Social Security disability benefit denial are:

Insufficient Medical Evidence

Social Security Disability claims are often denied because the evidence provided isn’t enough to support the claim. You must remember that any evidence showing your disability must be good enough to prove that you are unable to go to work.

One of the main ways of proving this is providing medical records that show your disability will prevent you from taking part in work related duties. It is no good going to your doctor on a regular basis unless proof is provided showing your injury will stop you from working.

Records by your doctor should include how the disability is affecting your everyday life and how it is stopping you going to work. Your doctor may have provided you with a medical note that you would need to forward to your employer.

All these notes should be kept and presented when you are filing a Social Security Disability claim. If you have taken any time off previously due to the injury and your doctor has provided you with a note this should be included in your Social Security Disability claim.

Provide the best evidence to assure a Social Security Disability claim appeal is successful. If your claim is denied you will need a disability attorney to scrutinize your evidence before an appeal is lodged.

Previous SSDI Claim Denial

In the appeals process if it is seen you have had a claim denied before this makes it harder to win any appeal. This means it is better to get your SSDI benefits claims documentation right in the first place.

Your Income

This is taken into consideration and if it is considered higher enough and your earnings exceed $880 per month when you file your application for Social Security Disability, your claim could be denied. This is mainly because if you are able to earn this amount of money it means you must be able to work in some capacity at least.

Failing to Follow Treatment

If for some reason or another you do not follow the treatment approved by your doctor it is highly likely your SSDI benefits claim will be denied. This is because any treatment would assume your health is likely to improve but not taking the treatment prevents an SSDI examiner from properly determining your medical condition and if and when you are likely to return to work. If you have a valid reason for not following the treatment this should be given to your attorney who will use it as evidence at the appeal.

Not prepared to cooperate

It may seem hard when you are disabled but if you want your SSDI benefit’s claim to be accepted you should make sure you turn up to any medical examination that is required to determine your eligibility.

If you are asked to provide specific documents you should have them readily available and dispatch them as soon as possible. If you don’t cooperate you can’t expect a favorable outcome to your claim.

There are quite a few reasons why you may be denied at your disability hearing. One of the most common reasons individuals are denied at this stage is that they do not have legal representation by a qualified disability attorney. Statistics don't lie – individuals who have an attorney have nearly a fifty percent increase in their chances of getting approved for disability benefits at this hearing. 40% of claimants who are unrepresented lose their case, while 60% of claimants who are represented by an attorney will generally be approved at this hearing.

Your next step to follow if you were denied Social Security Disability benefits in a hearing is to appeal that denial. This is filed with the Appeals Council, which is responsible for reviewing the decisions of the disability judges. If the Appeals Council denies your appeal, you may appeal that decision in a Federal District court.

Starting Your Disability Appeal

Once you have learned that your SSDI benefits claim has been denied and you have been told you may lodge an appeal, the most important thing you need to do next is to contact an experienced disability attorney who will help to ensure your appeal is successful. You have a far higher chance of a favorable outcome if you ask an attorney to help you.

There are few attorneys who will take on an SSDI benefits appeal unless they believe they have a high chance of winning a claim on your behalf. A disability attorney knows that 70% of claims for SSDI benefits are denied and that many claimants have failed to ask an attorney for help in the first place.

You have a far higher chance of winning your SSDI benefits entitlements if you have a disability attorney working on your behalf. The attorney will prepare the best case for an appeal so that you have the highest chance of winning and you are relieved of the financial burden of being unable to work due to a disability.

There is firm evidence available that shows lodging an SSDI benefits appeal is likely to be denied if the claimant is not represented by an experienced attorney. Attorneys present the evidence in such a way that it convinces the Appeals Council that your claim is justified so it will be approved. You will know how important a disability attorney is when you are told your claim has finally been approved.

If you are denied at the AJL hearing, your attorney may advise you to file a review with the Appeals Council and start a new disability claim for Social Security Disability benefits. You do this in an effort to maximize the chance you have for success. While the judge's denial is being reviewed by the Appeals Council, an examiner can review your new claim. If your condition has become worse, or you have more current medical records, you may stand a better chance of being approved.