You might feel like the world is against you when your Social Security disability claim is denied. The last thing you should do is to give up hope because most people’s claims are denied in the first round. In fact, Michigan’s denial rate is exceptionally high for the first Social Security claim – above 70 percent. Know that there are options for appealing claims and a good chance that you can get accepted for disability benefits.

What not to do: file a new claim

Once an application is denied many people make the mistake of filing a whole new claim. More often than not the new claim will get denied again. The reason it will get denied is because the new claim has the all same information as the first one. You will just be doubling your efforts for the same result.

What you should do: file an appeal with an attorney

Many people make the mistake of taking on the disability process alone. It is possible to successfully complete the process solo, but it will substantially increase your chances for success if you move forward with an attorney.

What you should do is to immediately call a local Social Security office and request an appeal. There is a 60 day deadline to appeal a denied claim. Have your attorney complete the appeal paperwork for you. It can also help if you have new information to add to the appeal. Let your attorney know any of the following:

  • If you have recently visited the doctor
  • If you have gotten a second medical opinion
  • If you have gotten any new tests or new diagnosis from the doctor

What happens next?

The first level of appeal is a second look at your application. The second level is a hearing with a judge and the third level is an appeal to the Appeals Council. The entire appeals process can take two years or longer. The good news is that over half of applicants are accepted after their first appeal, especially with legal assistance from an attorney.