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Appeal or start over with Social Security disability application?

While having a disability does not mean that a person is less than others or unable to live a full life, it can mean that life is more difficult in some regards. In particular, a person’s disabling condition may prevent him or her from being able to hold gainful employment, which can lead to a host of other issues, especially relating to their financial affairs. As a result, applying for Social Security disability is often a step individuals take.

Unfortunately, approximately two-thirds of SSDI applications are turned down by the Social Security Administration after their initial filing. Often, applicants feel disheartened by this outcome and believe that they do not qualify for benefits. However, filing once and receiving a denial does not have to be where the process stops. Individuals could consider starting a new application from scratch or appealing the denial of their first application.

Often, appealing an initial decision may be a better course of action rather than starting completely over, especially if a new application would address the same disability. Some upsides to appealing include the following:

  • Applications tend to see about a 50% approval rate at the appeal stage.
  • Appealing allows an applicant to keep his or her protective filing date, which could lead to backdated payments if an appeal is approved.
  • Building on an already-submitted application through an appeal could be easier than starting completely over while also increasing the changes of approval.

Though a denial for Social Security disability benefits can certainly seem like a letdown, applicants do have options for continuing their pursuit of financial assistance. An appeal can take time, but the odds are often more in the favor of the applicant. Additionally, interested parties could seek legal assistance during the appeals process in hopes of bolstering their chances of an approval.

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