Many applications for disability are denied for various reasons, ranging from the applicant’s ineligibility to an incomplete application. Upon receiving a denial, you have the option to ask for reconsideration by submitting an appeal. You can file the appeal on your own or appoint someone, such as an attorney, to assist you. If you do not want to appeal, then you can start over by filing a new application.
You can appeal your disability denial either online or by contacting a Social Security Administration representative (in person or over the phone: 1-800-772-1213). You must complete a Disability Appeal Request form, though the Appeal Disability Report is not mandatory. First, you should read the Notice of Decision carefully to understand why your application was denied. Do not resubmit the same information about your disability and medical history. Instead, add extra evidence to reinforce your disability claim, such as a copy of a new prescription or recent hospital visit related to your illness, injury or condition. Make sure that you disclose the names and contact information of every doctor and place where you received treatment.
Although you can request an appointment to discuss your case in person, your appeal should be thoroughly completed so that the case is strong without a face-to-face meeting. Describe in detail how the condition is affecting you. You should express how the condition affects daily activities (e.g., bathing, cooking, cleaning) and causes limitations. Identify new medical problems that arose after you submitted your initial application. List all medications that you are taking as a result of the condition(s).
The SSA will request medical records for new information. For example, if you visited a different doctor for a second opinion about your illness, then include the physician’s name, even if you only went once. Address any discrepancies or inaccurate information in your medical records. For instance, explain to your doctor why you are unable to work, especially if the doctor’s diagnosis states that you can perform limited work.
The SSA has guidelines to determine eligibility for disability. As an adult, you are considered disabled if you have an impairment (physical, mental, or both) that affects your ability to work and results in death or will last for more than one year.
Instead of stating that you cannot continue working for ABC company, you must explain why you cannot work at all. For instance, if you had worked in manufacturing, then your condition must prevent you from resuming not only your former line of work but also other types of employment, such as in retail or telecommunications. Your appeal must demonstrate that you are disabled completely, rather than partially or temporarily.
Maggie Gebremichael has been a freelance writer since 2002. She speaks Spanish fluently and resides in Texas. When she is not writing articles for eHow.com, Gebremichael loves to travel internationally and learn about different cultures. She obtained an undergraduate degree with a focus on anthropology and business from the University of Texas and enjoys writing about her various interests.