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What are the first steps after a denied claim for SSD benefits?

Los Angeles residents who apply for Social Security Disability benefits may have to wait a few months before they find out whether or not the benefits will be awarded. This is typical, as the initial application for SSD benefits can include quite a bit of information that needs to be reviewed by the Social Security Administration, such as medical and work history documentation. However, for about 60 percent of applicants, the initial phase ends with a denial of benefits.

There is a wide variety of reasons for why a Los Angeles resident's application for SSD benefits could be denied. Perhaps some crucial piece of medical documentation was missing. Or perhaps the applicant did not sufficiently describe the limitations of the disability. But after that initial denial, there may be options. So, what are the first steps after a denied claim for SSD benefits?

Well, the first step is to fully examine the denial letter that the Social Security Administration will send to see what that agency identified as the problems with the application. From there, the decision will need to be made as to whether or not to pursue an appeal at all. But if an applicant does decide to appeal the initial denial of benefits, the notice of the intent to appeal can be submitted to the SSA either online or by mailing in the appropriate form. Accompanying this form should be a notice as to whether a process known as "Reconsideration" is being requested or if a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge is being requested.

After these first steps, the appeals process may get complicated. It is important for Los Angeles residents who are appealing an initial denial of benefits to have the right information on how to proceed through the appeals process.

Source: ssa.gov, "Disability report - Appeal - Form SSA-3441," Accessed July 30, 2016

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