TheElder & Disability Law Firm, APC
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Moving forward after an SSD benefits denial

Applying for Social Security Disability can be an arduous process for many people in California, especially since a large portion of applicants receive denials at the initial level. After receiving a denial, people can either file a new disability application or seek a disability appeal. A new claim generally involves significantly more work or time than filing for an appeal, because the whole process needs to start from the beginning, including completing a new application for disability benefits.

Many people choose to apply for Social Security Disability benefits online. In addition to completing the online form, applicants must also fill out a disability report to provide the Social Security Administration with medical and employment information. In addition, a medical release form is necessary to allow the agency to review an applicant's medical records. Once these basic forms are complete, the process will begin again with requests for medical data and potentially a consultative exam performed by a doctor who works for Social Security. Filing a new claim does not necessarily provide more favorable treatment.

Filing an appeal, on the other hand, can be simpler; disability claimants can file online or through the mail. In addition, the applicant will not have a new interview with a claims representative. Instead, the application will move upward through the system with the applicant providing additional medical and employment data. A disability lawyer may be able to help an applicant to file the appeal, collect relevant data and move forward in the process.

The appeals process has a much better track record of successful claims. While the process moves first through reconsideration appeals, which are often denied, the next step is a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. This often presents the best opportunity for an applicant to successfully obtain SSD benefits.

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