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Is it worth appealing a denied SSD claim?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2023 | SSDI

Disability benefits are usually only available to those who can no longer work at all and who will have long-term medical concerns, rather than a brief illness or injury. People who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits may face debilitating treatment and worry about how they will cover their basic household expenses as a result of their circumstances.

SSDI benefits represent an emergency lifeline for those with serious medical issues, but a significant percentage of applicants do not get benefits immediately when they apply. A rejection notice can be very disheartening for someone who is already struggling financially and coping with serious medical issues. Is the appeals process worth the stress it will cause for an SSDI applicant?

Yes, many applicants benefit from an appeal

When looking at the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) internal records related to disability claims, the value of an appeal becomes very obvious. Between 2010 and 2019, the SSA only approved 21% of people for SSDI benefits when they initially submitted a claim. More than three-quarters of applicants received rejection notices.

However, the final approval rate during that 10-year period was actually 31% because another 10% of applicants get benefits during the appeals process. Roughly 2% of applicants will get benefits during internal reconsideration appeals and another 8% on average secure benefits through appeals hearings in front of administrative law judges. When people realize that one in ten applicants gets benefits through the appeals process, following up on a rejection notice becomes a smart choice.

Appeals can lead to more support

Not only does an appeal increase someone’s chance of getting benefits, but it can also increase how much they receive from the SSA when they do receive approval. When someone appeals, they can potentially receive back-dated benefits if they are successful.

They will potentially receive a lump-sum payment for the SSDI benefits they should have received if the SSA approved their application when they first sought benefits. That could mean receiving a year or more of benefits at one time, which can certainly help those who have struggled without income since their injury or diagnosis.

Understanding what to expect during the SSDI application and appeals process can benefit those who are concerned about how they will support their family due to a medical issue. Seeking legal guidance can be extremely helpful as well.