If you intend to file for Social Security disability benefits in the St. Louis area, it is important for you to prepare yourself for the process. You might not realize it, but many first-time filers often have to file appeals to get their benefits because they receive denials on their initial applications.
Although you may feel you have a strong claim, understand that the application process is a very stringent one. Your claim must pass the five-step evaluation process disability examiners use to qualify claims for benefits. To better prepare for the possibility that your claim may not be approved, here is what you should know about the SSDI appeals process.
Review the information in your denial letter
This is extremely important. You only have a set amount of time to file your appeal. The letter provides the exact reason why your claim was not successful. Usually, denials occur because there is evidence and documentation missing from the initial SSDI application.
Do not rush through the process
Take the opportunity to appeal the decision seriously. Do not procrastinate on it. Remember, the time it takes to file a successful claim and receive benefits is a long one. It can take several months to years for you to receive payments, depending on how many times you appeal and how long it takes the Social Security Administration to process your claim.
Once the SSA approves your appeal, keep in mind that you still may not receive benefits right away. There are several other steps in the approval process before you get a final decision on your claim.
Your disability and other circumstances may make it hard for you to obtain the information you need to file a successful Social Security disability application or appeal. If you have trouble getting the information that is necessary for your claim or you encounter other issues, you might want to work with an attorney to improve your chances and eliminate the number of steps and length of time involved in getting your claim approved.