If you’re already qualified for another disability program, but Social Security denies your benefits, you will have to file a request for reconsideration and begin the appeals process. The fact that you received approval from another disability program does not guarantee or even necessarily make it more likely that Social Security will approve you. The program’s standards are different from those of many other disability providers.

If you received a denial for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income and are ready to begin the appeals process, a lawyer can help you put together an appeal that is as strong and compelling as possible. The disability attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group offer a free case evaluation and can help you with your claim.

Call 865-566-0800 to speak with a member of the team.

VA Disability and Private Disability Insurance

We regularly receive questions from clients who have been approved for VA disability or private disability benefits but were denied by Social Security. The reason for this disparity is that Social Security’s qualifying criteria are more rigid and detailed than the qualifications for other disability programs.

VA Disability

The biggest difference between VA disability and Social Security disability is that VA grants partial disability benefits, while Social Security does not.

VA has a disability rating scale of zero to 100 percent. As long as an applicant suffered the disability while serving in the military, they can receive benefits even if the condition is minor. They might receive a disability rating at the low end of the scale, resulting in low monthly compensation compared to what a veteran with a severe disability receives.

Private Disability

Many private insurers offer disability insurance. You (or your employer) pay premiums for a policy; if you become disabled and cannot work, you can file a claim and start collecting benefits.

Private disability insurance often has much more lenient qualifying criteria than Social Security disability. Because there are so many policies available from so many companies, no uniform set of qualifications exists. No matter the details of your private disability policy, Social Security does not grant benefits just because you got approved by your disability insurance company.

What to Do if Social Security Denies You

If Social Security denies your application for disability, you can appeal that decision. In fact, you have several chances to appeal before your claim hits a dead end. Here are the steps of the appeals process:

Request for Reconsideration

The first step of the appeals process is a request for reconsideration. That is, as the name indicates, you can request Social Security to reconsider its decision to deny you.

When you file this request, it goes to a disability examiner, the same type of employee who reviewed (and denied) your initial claim. However, it will not be the same person, and you have the option to submit additional evidence to bolster your claim.

Administrative Law Judge

If your request for reconsideration also gets denied, as the vast majority do, you can appeal your claim to an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is a judge appointed to hear cases involving Social Security.

The ALJ stage is often your best chance to get approved, as you have the opportunity to argue the merits of your case face-to-face with someone who has final decision-making authority. If you prefer, you can bring a lawyer to argue your case for you. This is highly recommended. A Social Security lawyer likely has experience winning benefits for clients at ALJ hearings and will know what to expect.

Appeals Council

If the ALJ denies your claim, you can submit it to a deliberative body known as the Appeals Council for a subsequent review.

Once the Appeals Council reviews your claim, it has three options:

  • Approve you for benefits;
  • Deny your claim for benefits;
  • Remand it back to the ALJ for a second look.

Very few claims get approved at the Appeals Council level. Your best bet is for the council to remand it and for the ALJ to approve it after a second look. You can also begin a new application from scratch while the Appeals Council is processing your original one.

Federal Court

The last option, one that few applicants explore due to time and cost constraints, is to appeal your case in federal court.

Call 865-566-0800 Today for a Free Case Evaluation

The Social Security disability lawyers at the Disability Advantage Group can help you apply for and receive Social Security disability, even if you have been denied in the past. We are eager to get started on your claim. For a free consultation, call us today at 865-566-0800.