When You are Denied, Should You Appeal or Just Apply Again? The Single Biggest Mistake You Can Make with Your Social Security Disability Claim

Social Security disability benefits can be an important tool for helping those struggling with the effects of a serious physical or mental handicap to be able to support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, filing for these benefits can often be surprisingly challenging.

Medical documentation, lengthy paperwork, and sometimes-confusing instructions can easily lead applicants to make mistakes when applying for disability benefits.

The biggest mistake you can make with your Social Security Disability claimBecause of the considerable number of SSDI applications most Social Security offices must process each year, unfortunately, even minor errors on your application can lead an otherwise compelling case for disability benefits to be quickly denied.

This can make getting the benefits you need considerably more difficult, and many applicants can become frustrated at this stage.

Disability Denied? Should you apply again?

It is not uncommon for some to file a new application for benefits after an SSDI denial, hoping to correct any mistakes they may have made on their first application.

Unfortunately, what many people are not aware of is that this is actually the biggest mistake you can make when filing for SSDI benefits.

Do you need to apply for SSDI 3 times to get approved?

I recently read multiple comments on Facebook advising a poster who had her initial application denied to just keep reapplying.  The commenters all stated that you have to apply 3 times to get approved and qualify for benefits. 

I don't know where this myth came from, but it is FALSE.

When an application for benefits is denied, claimants have the right to begin the process of appealing the decision.

Disability Benefits Appeal

The SSDI appeals process can go through a number of different stages, though with the representation of a good disability attorney, it is often possible to receive a favorable judgment at the first stage of appeal.

And if you are denied at the first stage of appeal an experienced disability attorney can take you through all of the appeal steps including a request for reconsideration.

Filing a new application complicates this process. Having multiple applications for the same individual can create problems for the Social Security Administration office and dramatically lengthen the amount of time it takes to process a disability claim.

Furthermore, if you cannot successfully determine what caused your application to be denied in the first place, you run the risk of having subsequent applications denied as well. 

Is there a simple mistake in your medical records that will cause your application to be denied each and every time? 

Is there something in your work history that needs to be explained?

In contrast, by choosing to appeal a denied claim, you can work with an attorney to help demonstrate more concretely to an administrative law judge the actual nature of your medical condition and how it prevents you from working. The face-to-face interaction is often key in helping to convince others that your disability is real and meaningful and that you deserve and qualify for receiving benefits.

If choose reapply instead of appealing, you will have to start the long application and appeal process over from the very beginning.

You may also permanently lose your right to back benefits.  I have seen this mistake cost clients thousands of dollars in back pay.

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Nationally recognized lawyer and author dedicated to fighting life's legal battles with compassion and care
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