If you are unsure about the reason for your claim getting denied, just know that the 3 most common reasons for denial are:
- substantial work
- lack of medical evidence
- substance abuse
If you have been denied disability, you only have 60 days to file an appeal. Do not wait until the last minute!
If your initial claim is denied, Woodruff and Mathis can help by explaining what evidence is needed and will work with you to find ways to obtain that evidence. The initial determination of your claim (as well as your first appeal) is generally made by someone who has not met you or heard how your condition affects you. They have to rely on medical records and other documentary evidence, and those often don’t tell the whole story. It is important to have medical providers that understand your medical problems and that accurately document your symptoms and limitations.
The first appeal is called a “Request for Reconsideration.” This appeal does not take you in front of a judge and in most cases, there is no hearing at all. Most people who have been denied the first time will get denied again at Reconsideration.
If your claim is denied at Reconsideration, you can have your case decided by an Administrative Law Judge. The judge will review the evidence in your case, hear your testimony about your impairment, and may also call upon expert witnesses. The Administrative Law Judge Hearing is the best opportunity to win your case so you want to be very well prepared.
If you are going before an Administrative Law Judge, Woodruff and Mathis will help you by gathering the evidence and submitting it to the Court, working with you to get statements from your medical providers that will support your case, identify a “path to victory” strategy, provide a written brief to the Court and meet with you before your court date to get you ready to testify.