Nobody wants to deal with medical problems in any shape or form. It’s even worse when those medical problems are created or worsened by the medical professionals who are supposed to be treating you.
Unfortunately, medical errors are one of the major causes of accidental death in the US. Therefore, it has become crucial for everyone to know how to recognize medical malpractice.
Social security disability
It can be challenging to earn a living when you’re disabled, either mentally, physically, or emotionally. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration provides benefits for people who have a debilitating personal injury or chronic illness to the point that they are unable to work. These benefits could be available under Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
What can I do if my social security disability claim was denied?
If your social security disability claim was denied the most important thing to do is file an appeal within 60 days of the date on the denial letter you receive. Failure to file an appeal within 60 days will likely require that you re-apply for your social security disability benefits all over again. Social security takes 4-5 months to review initial applications, so if you miss your 60 day appeal window, you will be waiting another 4-5 months before receiving another denial letter that you can then appeal. It’s likely you will need to enter the appeal process before benefits are granted as approximately 70% of initial applications are denied.
You also want to continue treating with your medical providers throughout your claim, and especially on appeal. Social Security regulations require the claimant to have medical record evidence in the file that documents the condition(s) causing the disability and the functional limitations that the claimant’s conditions impose on a person’s ability to work.
What's the process for filing an appeal?
To keep your disability application moving through the appeal process, you simply need to contact social security and let them know you are wanting to file an appeal and timely complete all the paperwork you receive. However, if you want to prevail on appeal, an attorney can significantly increase your ability to get a favorable benefit decision.
The different stages of appeal are as follows:
How long do I have to file an appeal?
You have 60 days from the date of the denial decision to file an appeal. The 60 day deadline applies at each stage of the appeal process. After any denial or unfavorable decision made on your claim, you have 60 days to appeal to the next review level.
How long does an SSDI/SSI claim take?
Generally, a social security disability claim can take a long time, depending on your location in the country and the backlog of appeals in the local area. The following are general time frames seen in Eastern Washington.
A social security disability claim if approved on application takes 4-5 months. If a denial is received and appealed, the reconsideration stage can take another 2-4 months. If a denial is received on reconsideration, a request for hearing is filed and it can take 1-2 years before you will have a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. (The Spokane hearing office tries to provide the claimant a hearing date within 1 ½ years of the request for hearing being filed.) If you receive an unfavorable decision after hearing, an appeal is filed with the Appeals Counsel, and it can take up to another 6 months before you know if the appeal is going to require filing a lawsuit in Federal Court. Federal Court cases do not have a set time frame, and some have taken years depending on the case.