Have you received notice that your application for disability has been denied? If so, you may be feeling upset, frustrated, and even terrified.
You are likely worried about how you will support yourself and your family, pay your bills, and cover other expenses if you cannot work due to your disability. Whether your disability is due to an injury or an illness, you deserve to receive compensation and help during this time. You do not have to be afraid. Fortunately, you do have some options even if your disability has been denied initially.
The following are the steps you should follow after you receive a denial letter.
1. Take Another Look at Your Case
The first thing you need to do is to have another look at your case to make sure nothing went wrong. Check over your documents and make sure you submitted all of the necessary information requested on your application. Be sure you included copies of your medical records as well as the names of the doctors who treated you. In some cases, a denial is due to a simple clerical error. If you do not see anything out of place with your documentation, you should seek a free consultation with an attorney to determine what steps you should take next. The attorneys at Preszler Law https://www.preszlerlaw.com/blog/long-term-disability-claim-denied-what-now/ can help you get started with the process. They will work diligently to ensure there are no mistakes in your original claim and help you move forward with the next steps.
2. Apply for an Appeal
Once you have gone over your case with your attorney, you next need to file for an appeal. You have 60 days to do so from the date you receive your denial letter. You may receive a second denial. If this happens, you can appeal again and take your case to a higher level. You can appeal through four levels throughout the entire process. You first appeal through the reconsideration process. if you are denied, you then go through a hearing with an administrative law judge. If you are still denied, you can go before the appeals council review. If you still do not get approved, your last resort is federal court action.
You will go through reconsideration if you do not agree with your first denial. During this process, a new group will look over your case, which may or may not include new information. You do not generally have to be there in person during reconsideration. If you are denied after reconsideration, you will go to a hearing before an administrative law judge. This is a judge who has not worked on your case previously. During this time, the judge will review your case and hear witness testimony if needed, such as medical professionals, vocational professionals, and the like. You will have to be present to answer any questions the judge may have for you.
The hearings are typically held within 75 miles of your location. Some circumstances will require you to appear via video conference. If you are not able or do not want to attend a hearing, you will have to write a letter explaining why you are unable to do so. The judge will then decide whether or not your presence is required. The next level is going through the appeals council. If your case is still denied by the judge, you will need to request a review from the appeals council. The council will look at your case. They will either rule on your case or send it to another judge for review.
The final level is a lawsuit filed in federal court. This is the last opportunity you will have for an appeals decision. You and your attorney will file a lawsuit in federal district court to argue your need for disability benefits. You will need excellent evidence to prove your case, including witness testimony from yourself, your doctor, your employer, and anyone else pertinent to your condition. The information you will need to begin this process will be in the decision letter from the appeal’s council.
Receiving a denial letter for disability benefits can be scary. As soon as you can, be sure to work with an attorney to help build a solid case so you are able to receive the compensation you require for your daily needs. Keep in mind this process can take a significant amount of time. You will need to have some provisions to help cover your expenses. Your attorney can point you in the direction of some resources that may be able to help you while you wait for your final decision on your disability claim.