What should I do if my claim is denied?


Don’t do what many claimants do – that is, don’t give up. Many give up on the process and find themselves applying again years later and starting from scratch. Many others simply start a new application immediately. This is likely to be denied for the exact same reasons as the first application, and also negatively affects your backpay prospects since you now have a later application date.

Your third option is to file an appeal. One has a 60 day deadline to file an appeal, but it is best if you do this immediately to get it processed sooner. Do this especially if you continue to experience significant medical impairments, and if those impairments or conditions prevent you from working.

There are 3 levels in the appeals process:

  1. Reconsideration of disability application
  2. Hearing before an administrative law judge
  3. Appeal to the appeals council

If you reach the third level, you should file a new initial claim, as the appeals council rarely appeals decisions of administrative law judges. Your best bet for a successful appeal is the hearing before an administrative law judge. A reconsideration appeal is successful only about 15% of the time, while appeals heard before an administrative law judge are successful about 65% of the time. The downside to this hearing is that due to long backlogs it can easily take over a year before your case is heard.