3 Things You Should Do If You've Been Denied Social Security Benefits

You didn't expect an illness to force you out of your job, but it did. Now, you're in desperate need of emergency income but your social security disability application has been denied. Don't give up. It's important that you continue fighting for your benefits. Since about 60–70% of all first-time applicants are denied, it's important that you be know what to do after the denial.

Contact an Attorney

As soon as you get the denial letter from the Social Security Administration, you need to contact an attorney. While it is possible to navigate the appeals process by yourself, you can avoid costly mistakes by having an attorney represent you.

Gather Your Medical Records

Your attorney is going to need all of your medical records. You can help speed up the appeals process by having your records ready for your first appointment with your attorney. You'll need to obtain copies of all records relating to your disability. This should include records you may have from the following sources.

  • Primary care physician
  • Medical specialists
  • Lab results
  • X-rays
  • Mental health professionals

Document Your Disability

Your disability doesn't just affect your ability to work. It also affects your personal life and the lives of your immediate family members – including spouses and children. You can improve your chances of winning your appeal if you've documented how your disability affects your personal life and the lives of your family members.

Spouse/Significant Other

How does your disability affect your relationship with your spouse or significant other? If your disability prevents you from participating in activities that were once important to your relationship, be sure to document that. This should include the way your disability affects your sex life.  You might consider this too intimate to detail, but your attorney can use that information to your advantage during the appeals process.


Are there activities you can no longer participate in with your children? Does your disability interfere with your ability to provide hands-on care for your kids? If you've answered yes to either of those questions, you should provide detailed explanations of how your disability interferes with the relationship you have with your kids. The documentation should also include whether or not you now require additional assistance when caring for your children.

Appealing a denial for social security disability benefits can be a long process. If you've been denied the disability benefits you desperately need, use the information provided above to help you through the appeals process. Go to this website for more information.