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What to know if your SSDI application has been denied

People who have suffered a disabling injury or illness have a number of concerns about their welfare and future. How will they pay for medical care? What will they do without a paycheck if their condition prevents them from working? 

These concerns can be alleviated by knowing that disabled workers have the option of pursuing Social Security disability benefits. However, as many applicants in Detroit know, the SSDI application process is lengthy and confusing. Further, many applications are initially denied. Rather than get discouraged, people who have had their applications denied should remember that they can pursue an appeal.

Appealing a denied claim is something that many people have to do as a result of the current state of the Social Security system. Huge numbers of applications combined with overworked judges and strained resources means that initial decisions are made quickly and for any number of reasons. 

This is why many people will want to consider appealing a denial.

The Social Security Administration has four levels of appeal: reconsideration, a hearing with a judge, review by the Appeals Council and finally a review by the Federal Court. Each of these levels can present obstacles for applicants, but many people are able to get a successful outcome when they pursue an appeal.

Whatever level your appeal reaches, having the support and guidance of an attorney can be important. Appealing a denied claim can be complicated and frustrating, especially for people who are already struggling to deal with the physical, emotional and financial repercussions of a serious illness or injury. Working with an attorney can provide disabled workers with the confidence to navigate the complex system and pursue the benefits they may deserve.

Source: Social Security Administration, "The Appeals Process," accessed on Sept. 11, 2014

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