Most people are denied benefits because the SSA thinks:
The evidence does not show a serious medical problem; or
The disability won't last 12 months; or
The person can do some type of work even if it is not their regular work.
If you think Social Security was wrong in denying you DIB or SSI benefits you can fight the decision by: asking for a reconsideration and (if you still don't get benefits) (2) then asking for a hearing.
(You have to go through a reconsideration before you can ask for a hearing.)
How do I ask for a reconsideration?
To get the SSA to reconsider your claim you must write the local Social Security Office within 60 days of the denial of benefits, or appeal online at the link below. If you do not appeal online you must also sign and give SSA a form entitled "Request for Reconsideration." Your case will be reviewed again and you will be notified by mail of the decision. Most of the time you will again be turned down.
Do not be discouraged if your claim is denied at first or on reconsideration. Many people win their cases at hearings.
How do I ask for a hearing?
If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can appeal the decision by asking for a hearing. The hearing is your chance to explain your situation face-to-face to someone who can grant you benefits. You can have a lawyer represent you at the hearing. Many people win benefits after the hearing, so it is worth trying. If you don't appeal your case you can apply again later, but you might no longer be eligible for benefits or you might get a smaller amount of retroactive benefits. You must ask for a hearing in writing within 60 days of the date of denial of reconsideration, or appeal online at at the link below. Forms for appeal are also available from any Social Security office. On the form for requesting a hearing, be sure to mark the box by saying that you want to "appear" at your hearing.
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