When you develop a serious illness or suffer a debilitating injury, the consequences to your life are immediate. You may find yourself unable to work a job. You may have a gigantic stack of medical bills that you have no way to pay.
After you leave your job, you may find yourself without health insurance. The combination of bills and no insurance in addition to a drastic drop in income can be financially devastating. Your family may struggle to cover even the most basic living expenses.
Thankfully, that financial fallout is exactly why Social Security Disability exists. The idea behind the program is to protect people who have severe or debilitating conditions by offering them income and medical coverage when they cannot work due to a disability. Sadly, thousands of people die every year while waiting for disability, and others wait months or even years for their first check.
Don’t let a disability denial hold you back
One of the most common issues for people seeking Social Security Disability benefits is an initial denial of their claim or application. There are many reasons why people with severe conditions could find a valid application for benefits denied.
If your doctor used the wrong kind of language when discussing your injury or if you failed to include adequate medical documentation, that could be grounds for denial of your application. It is even possible for tiny mistakes on the paperwork, such as just forgetting to sign in one place or not checking a box, to result in a denial.
After all, Social Security is a bureaucracy, and those who do not perfectly adhere to their requirements will find their request denied. The good news, however, is that you have the right to appeal a denial of your benefits. Taking timely action and ensuring careful attention to detail can make all the difference for those who need Social Security Disability benefits.
Take action right away if you receive notice of denial
For many people, the time between when they suffer injuries and when their first checks come in is quite long. In some areas, the average wait time for benefits now goes up to two years. That is without a denial and an appeal. Applicants who need to appeal an initial denial may need to wait substantially longer to connect with the benefits they need to survive.
For those whose initial claim gets denied, a timely appeal is incredibly important. The sooner you submit an appeal, the sooner you can have your application reviewed by an administrative law judge. That review is often the final step in the appeals process, and it can be what connects you with the benefits you need to pay your bills and seek medical care.