It’s normal to want to panic when you receive a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) denial letter. You applied because you’re in a tough situation and need help. What will you do without those benefits?
Here’s the truth, however: Most SSDI applicants get an initial rejection. That does not have to be the final word on the matter.
70% of applications are rejected
The Social Security Administration tracks outcomes of SSDI applications. According to the most recent data available, the administration accepted only about 30% of initial requests from applicants.
That means, yes, the SSA denies seven out of every 10 people when they first apply. The reasons for a rejection can vary, but might include income questions, a paperwork issue, incorrect personal information or the SSA not considering your disability to be long-term.
Fortunately, there are ways to not only try to address these concerns, but also ask the SSA to reconsider your application altogether.
Appealing a rejection
If you are facing a rejected SSDI application, you have a few options for filing an appeal:
- Reconsideration: The SSA will look at your case again. You can also include additional evidence and information to strengthen your application.
- An administrative hearing: This is done in front of an administrative law judge. It’s a chance to make your case in-person, and could include witnesses or experts.
- The Appeals Council: You can request the Appeals Council review your case. The council may reject your request, make a decision itself, or send the case back to an administrative law judge.
If none of those avenues lead to success, you can consider filing an appeal in federal court.
While an SSDI setback is certainly frustrating, try to remember there are many ways forward. An experienced attorney may be able to help by reviewing your case and poring over the rejection, then finding ways to address potential concerns.
So no, you do not have to worry. One denial isn’t the end of your journey.