If you have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”) chances are that you received a denial letter. Many applicants get denial letters. But getting a denial letter is one thing, and understanding it is another. That’s where a lawyer for a social security disability appeal comes into play.
So, let’s take a brief look at denial letters.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND A DENIAL LETTER
Your denial letter may seem at first to be a lot of legal mumbo jumbo, but key phrases provide clues as to why your application was denied. For example, you may see words like “non-severe” or “does not meet an impairment listing.” These phrases tell you why your claim was denied and why you may need a lawyer for a Social Security disability appeal.
If the letter says “non-severe,” for example, that means that you did not qualify because the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) believes that you do not have a “severe” medical or physical condition.
If the letter says, “does not meet an impairment listing” that means that your condition does not meet or equal (is not the same as) a disability or impairment listed in the SSA’s “blue book” —the Listing of Impairments (officially titled, Disability Evaluation under Social Security). However, just because your condition does not meet an impairment listing, that does not mean that you are not disabled or that your condition is not severe. Nor does it mean that you cannot qualify for benefits.
There will be specific language in your denial letter that talks about your ability to return to your past work or whether according to the SSA, you can do “other work.” If you are able to do your past job, or if the SSA determines that you can do “other work” (which is any work taking your age, education, and functional limitations into consideration), that is grounds for the SSA to deny a disability claim.
IMPORTANT DATES IN THE DENIAL LETTER
Even if you don’t feel that you completely understand the denial letter, there are two things in the letter that are of vital importance to you. They are:
- the date of the notice (the date in the upper right-hand corner), and
- information on how to appeal the denial.
You have 60 days from the date of the letter (the date in the upper right-hand corner) to file your appeal with the SSA, so this date is very important. The information in the denial letter tells you how to appeal. However, if you have been denied benefits, you may want to hire an experienced lawyer for your social security disability appeal.
DENIAL LETTERS ARE NOT THE LAST WORD ON BENEFITS
Denial letters are discouraging, yes, but they are not the final word on disability benefits. It is quite common for the SSA to deny a disability application. This is why appealing the denial is one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of being awarded SSDI benefits.
WE FIGHT FOR OUR CLIENTS. CONTACT US IF YOU NEED A LAWYER FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY APPEAL
If you have received a denial letter, call us. We help people get the disability benefits they deserve. And it is the only thing we do – we practice only social security disability law. The Parmele Law Firm has offices throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois. We also have offices in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Call us at (618) 732-0146 or connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.