Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is often a last resort when medical issues affect your daily life. People turn to SSDI when an injury or illness drastically changes their daily lives.
When you can’t work and see little reason to hope that things will change for the better soon, SSDI benefits can help you. The benefits can cover at least the basic costs of living, like your mortgage. Sadly, many theoretically qualified applicants for SSDI receive a rejection letter instead of an approval notice.
What can you do after you receive a denial letter instead of an approval when you know you need SSDI benefits?
Applicants have the right to multiple kinds of appeals
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does its best to process applications in a fair and timely manner. Still, qualified applicants don’t receive benefits right away, and people can end up waiting months if not years for benefits if they have to appeal instead of getting an immediate approval.
The SSA tracks rejection and approval rates. On average, about one in five applicants will get approved immediately after they apply for SSDI. Others may receive benefits when they appeal the initial decision on their application. There are up to four stages of appeal available for those who don’t receive an approval immediately.
Those who are successful in their appeals can often receive benefits going back to when they initially qualified, even if more than a year has lapsed between their application and the date of their approval. Understanding what happens when you apply for SSDI benefits can make it easier for you to follow the right process.