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What happens if your claim for disability benefits is denied?

No one in Tennessee likes to get injured or suffer from an illness, but from time to time it is bound to happen. Hopefully the person is able to get better within a short period of time, so they can and go back to their normal daily life. Unfortunately, sometimes it can take a long period of time to recover from an illness or injury, and some illnesses or injuries are permanent. These types of injuries and illnesses can completely change one's life, and they may no longer be able to do many things they are accustomed to doing.

These individuals may not be able to work, which can make it very difficult to meet their needs. Luckily, people may pursue Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) to help them meet their financial needs. The first step in seeking benefits is to submit an application, which someone within the Social Security Administration will look at and determine if the applicant will receive benefits.

It can be demoralizing for people if their initial application is denied, but this is not the only opportunity for the person to attempt to get benefits. There is an appeals process, which if successful may result in an award of disability benefits.

There are a few different steps of the appeals process. The first is reconsideration. During this step, the initial application is reviewed by a different person, and the applicant can submit new evidence as well. If the reconsideration denies, the applicant can then request a hearing at which the applicant can bring witnesses and will be asked questions about their condition. After this, the applicant could request the Appeal Council to review it and if that is denied, the last option is appealing the decision to federal court.

Many people in Tennessee may qualify for SSDI. However, their initial applications may be denied. Luckily, there is still a chance that they can still receive benefits through the appeals process. It is important to be well prepared though and ensure one presents the proper evidence. Attorneys may be able to guide one through this complicated process.

Source: Social Security Administration, "The Appeals Process" accessed Sept. 11, 2017

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