The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC
The next step after being denied twice for SS benefits
California residents who have medical conditions that prevent them from working might be entitled to Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income. But for many people, the first application for benefits is denied. Being denied does not mean there is no chance for receiving benefits. A denied application can be appealed or people can reapply, even if they have been denied twice.
There is a difference between reapplying after a denial and appealing the decision. If someone is denied on the first application for SSD or SSI, it is recommended that an appeal be filed. This can be done within 60 days of being denied. Five days are added to the time limit to allow the appeal to go through the mail, but it is also possible to file an appeal online.
If an appeal is also denied, then the next step is to file a second appeal. At this stage the new appeal is a request for a disability hearing. Approval of a claim happens for many people at the hearing level. In fact, there are more approvals at disability hearings than there are on initial applications and appeals combined.
If people are denied on their first disability application, they might reapply rather than filing an appeal. This can slow down the process of getting to the hearing level, however, because it involves an extra step. A request for a hearing can only be made after an appeal, not a second application, is denied. But if a second application has been filed and it is denied, then an appeal should be filed.
Even when someone appears to be entitled to SSD or SSI benefits, getting approved is not necessarily easy. Most claims are denied on the first applications. In addition, any mistake in paperwork can delay the process. Someone who wishes to file for SSD benefits might want to have the assistance of an experienced attorney from the outset of the process in order to help ensure that all paperwork is complete.