Receiving a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits denial letter can be disheartening, but it’s important to remember that it is not the end of the road. Many SSDI applications are denied initially, but the decision can be appealed, and many applicants successfully secure benefits through the appeals process.
The appeals process can be complicated and may feel overwhelming; however, a Social Security disability appeals lawyer in Simpsonville can help. First, we’ll thoroughly review your case to understand the reasons for the denial and then determine the best approach to your appeal.
Call us today or fill out the online form for a free consultation.
Why Choose a Simpsonville Social Security Disability Attorney?
While it’s possible to appeal an SSDI claim denial without an attorney, having professional legal representation can greatly improve your chances of receiving benefits.
Unlike other law firms in the Carolinas, our Social Security Disability lawyers won’t pass your case to non-attorney employees. Instead, our attorneys speak with each client personally and will give your case the personal attention it deserves. Additional benefits of working with our law firm include the following:
- We gather your medical records and other evidence and do so in a cost-effective way.
- We handle disability claims and appeals on a contingency basis, so you only pay when we win your case.
- We can bolster your case by providing expert medical opinions.
- We request a consultative evaluation from the SSA when needed.
Whether you’re still in the Social Security Disability application process or have been denied one or more times, we will work hard to help you obtain the necessary benefits.
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Understanding the Differences Between SSI and SSDI
There are two main government disability programs, both of which are overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA). One is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the other is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
- SSI is a means-based program for those with limited resources and income who are blind, disabled, or over 65. They must also meet certain additional qualifications.
- SSDI is an insurance program for those who have worked and paid into the Social Security program via payroll taxes but can no longer work due to a disabling condition. To qualify for benefits, the applicant must meet the SSA’s definition of disability and have sufficient work credits.
You may qualify for one or both of these programs, depending on your circumstances. However, to receive both, you must meet the eligibility criteria for each program.
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Work Credits and SSDI
To be eligible for SSDI, or Social Security disability insurance, individuals must have a valid work history. The Social Security Administration assigns work credits to different factors of a person’s employment record to determine the validity of this record. Generally speaking, 40 credits are required for eligibility.
Employment records are judged on income, age, and length of time worked. Each year, the threshold for these criteria may change, and credits will vary according to these changes. For example, one credit is assigned for every $1,000 earned in the last year before applying for SSDI.
It is important to note that individuals with fewer than 40 credits may still become eligible under certain conditions, including a disability evaluated by the Social Security Administration or a combination of work and family benefits that total 40 credits or more.
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Reasons for Denial
If you receive a notice stating that your claim was denied, it will include the reason for the denial and the steps you can take to appeal the decision. Common reasons applicants are denied benefits include:
- Inconsistencies in an applicant’s statements or information about their work history
- A failure to meet the SSA’s criteria for being disabled
- The lack of medical evidence or documentation of the condition
- A failure to follow through with prescribed medical treatment
Receiving a denial letter can be disappointing, and the SSA’s explanation will likely leave you with unanswered questions. However, our experienced attorneys can identify the specific issue that led to the denial and determine the best strategy for your appeal. Learn more during a free consultation with a member of our Simpsonville team.
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Appealing a Social Security Disability Claim Denial
If your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application is denied, starting the appeals process within 60 days is important. An online application can be completed to initiate this process.
The SSDI appeal process begins at the administrative level and continues to the federal court system. If your claim is denied at any level, starting with the initial determination, you can proceed to the next stage. There are four opportunities to appeal a denial.
The levels of the appeals process are:
- Reconsideration: You have the right to ask the Social Security Administration to reconsider, which means they have to take another look at the original evidence plus any new information you provide. This is true whether the denial was based on medical or non-medical reasons.
- Hearing with an administrative law judge: If the SSA’s decision after reconsideration is not in your favor, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ).
- Review with the Appeals Council: At the next level, you can request a formal review with the Appeals Council to examine the ALJ’s decision.
- Federal court review: If you are still denied benefits, it’s time to take your case to the federal level. You would be suing the SSA in the U.S. District Court at this final stage.
Professional legal representation during the appeals process will give you the best chance of getting approved for disability benefits. Our Simpsonville Social Security disability appeals lawyers are here to help you avoid mistakes at every step and maximize your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
Our South Carolina Attorneys Can Help You
Whether you are applying for SSDI or SSI or need to appeal a denial, Pilzer Klein can help. Our Social Security disability attorneys serving Simpsonville, S.C., are well-versed in the application and appeals processes and can provide the legal support you need.
Learn more about the Social Security Disability claims process during a free, no-obligation consultation. Don’t give up hope after a denial. Contact us today to take the first step toward getting your needed benefits.