More than likely, your Social Security disability case is going to be denied at least once. This is especially true if you are under the age of 50 or you only have a mental impairment(s) that keep you from working. If you fit within these two categories, chances are you may be denied more than once. And, even if you are not within either category, you could find your case being denied just the same.
So, what do you do now?
First, if I were you, I would take a very long and hard look at my medical condition. Is it so severe that you cannot even work at some type of sit-down job for a normal workday and week, doing some type of simple task that requires a month or less to learn? If you're being honest with yourself and you can do this kind of work, even though you have some type of medical condition, you really need to think about going back to work. Every state has some type of work commission in which you can become trained to do some other type of work. In my opinion, it is always best to work than to draw disability or unemployment, etc.
However, if you really (and I mean really) cannot work at the above mentioned-type of job, then consider these things:
1. You also need to look at your own financial situation. If you cannot hold out for two years or more without an income, then you may want to also attempt to at least return to work. If you have a spouse that works, or you can live with friends or family during your appeal processes, then you should be ok. But, just remember, the appeal to even the hearing level could take a very long time. As of 2017, more than 1 million people are currently waiting for a disability hearing in the United States. If this number tells you anything, it lets you know how long of a wait you are going to have.
2. Don't forget about your 60-day window. If you miss your appeal time of 60 days and you don't have a good excuse for doing so, then you're going to have to start over.
3. Think about how good your medical records are. The better your medical evidence, the better your chances of being approved. Even if you have to go through the emergency room at your county hospital, something is better than nothing at all. In other words, keep getting medical evidence.
4. And, that brings me to the next thing: Stop thinking about going to the doctor to get well. Many times, a person is unable to improve medically enough to return back to work. Therefore, stop thinking about getting well, and think more about medical EVIDENCE. This is important, because the Social Security Administration is going to look to your medical records primarily to determine if you are disabled. Thus, when you go see your doctor, be sure to tell him or her what limitations you have physically and/or mentally in regards to your condition. The better it is spelled out in your records, the easier it is to be approved.
5. Actually consider hiring an attorney. Not just any attorney, but an experienced Social Security disability attorney who can assess your medical records and the other factors the Administration takes into consideration and help you improve your chances. But beware, there is no magical pixie dust any attorney can sprinkle on your case and get you approved. Again, it is up to your medical evidence primarily to increase your chances of success.
6. This is a big one. Understand why you were denied. Oftentimes, your doctor or a hospital fails to send in the medical records on your behalf. Therefore, you're only playing with a half-deck and you were denied due to insufficient medical records. If that's the case, get on the phone and make sure your records are sent for sure on your next appeal. Also, many times people are denied for nonmedical reasons. If you lack work credits, or you are still working and your income is too high to qualify, or your family income is too high for SSI, then you are only receiving a technical denial and you can do something to change your situation so the Administration will look at your medical evidence.
7. Lastly, don't give up. I have had many clients that have tried multiple times to receive disability and are finally approved. One, their medical evidence has improved. Two, they may have now become over the age of 50 and the Rules favor them being approved. Three, their condition continued to become more severe to the point where the Administration determined they were actually disabled. I cannot tell you how many clients I have had that were denied multiple times before they were finally approved. This wasn't due to any fancy lawyer tricks, it was because of one of the three things discussed above which turned the tide in their favor.
We help claimants throughout Texas and California fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. If you need help, never hesitate to call our office: (888) 780-9125. We're here to help.