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I’ve Been Denied. What Do I Do Next?

Social Security denies many disability applications incorrectly. Don’t give up until you have understood your options.

-First, always check the date of the denial letter. That triggers the appeals deadline. If this is a new application for benefits you will have 60 days from the date of that letter to file your appeal. Social Security grants a 5 days grace period for mailing delays.

-Second, if this is an initial or reconsideration level denial look at the list of medical records received. If any of your important doctors or hospitals were not listed, you should contact them to see if the records were in fact sent in to the adjudicator. Make a list of what is missing.

-Third, if you have already hired an experienced Social Security lawyer call the office immediately. Make sure they received a copy and tell them if you think important records were not considered.

Appeals from initial and reconsideration denials can be filed online at This is not a long form and the appeal can be done in about 20 – 30 minutes. Make sure you have the names, address and telephone numbers of all of your treating physicians, therapists and hospitals, along with your recent treatment history. You will also need your medication list.

If you cannot file the appeal online then you can either mail the appeal or go to the Social Security District Office. If you mail the form make certain that you send it Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested so that you can prove that you actually sent the form to Social Security in a timely manner.

In some cases the 60 days deadline can be waived by Social Security. This is rare and requires strong support for missing the deadline such as a lengthy hospitalization or mental incompetency. It is always your obligation to notify Social Security of a new address – if you have moved and told SSA and the denial was still sent to an old address that may be a basis for a late filing.

Denials are frustrating but are not always the “last word” on your application. Consulting with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney will give you more information on your options and chances for success.

Widely regarded as among the best in their field. They are professional, friendly, and conscientious with a genuine respect for their clients. They are worthy of the highest possible endorsement.

Michael R.