What to Do If Your Short-Term Disability Claim Is Denied

It can be scary to experience an accident. It can impact your life in many different ways, but one area where it has the most impact is at work. It isn’t uncommon to have to take time off of work after an accident while you heal, but where will you find the money to pay the bills until you can return to your job?

Short-term disability is one answer that’s worth pursuing. Unfortunately, many people who apply find that their application is denied.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to Social Security benefits! It just means you have to take these steps to try again.

Hire an Attorney

There are many reasons why your short-term disability claim might be denied. It could be that you didn’t do a good job proving your disability, or it could be that you simply made a mistake when filling out the paperwork.

If you are denied, you should contact an attorney right away. They can work with you to reapply for short-term disability insurance, but they can also talk to you about your rights, the likelihood of success when filing again, and they may be able to provide you with advice on what to do while you wait for your claim to be reprocessed.

File an Appeal Right Away

Whether you choose to hire an attorney or not, one of the first things you need to do as soon as your claim is denied is to file an appeal. Doing this in a timely fashion is extremely important.

In order for your claim to be reconsidered, it must be appealed within 60 days of the date you received the written notice of the initial decision. If you are currently receiving payments, you must make sure to file an appeal 10 days after you receive your notice in order for payments to continue while your case is reconsidered.

If you’re working with an attorney, they will file the appeal for you. Just make sure you’re available to answer any questions they might have while the process unfolds.

Understand Why You Were Denied

It can be very helpful to understand why you were denied. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration isn’t always very detailed about exactly what the problem was on your initial application.

An attorney who has experience with disability claims will be able to pinpoint the problem right away. Doing a little research on your own can be very helpful too. There are a lot of resources out there that can tell you more about the common reasons why claims are denied, as well as tips for successfully applying for social security disability benefits, whether you’re applying the first time or the second time.

Understanding why you were denied can also bring you a little peace of mind. If you know what to fix, you can feel confident that you will be approved the second time around.

Don’t Panic

It’s easy to panic if your claim is denied. How are you going to pay the bills and what’s the point of appealing your claim if you are denied are just a few questions you’re likely to ask yourself.

Try not to worry. As many as 70 percent of claims are denied the first time. That’s because there are a lot of faulty claims—most of which aren’t appealed because the people applying know they won’t be approved. If you are truly dealing with an injury and you get your ducks in a row before reapplying, you have a good chance of getting the benefits you deserve.

Make a Plan for If You’re Denied Again

No matter how prepared you are, you probably have a small voice in your head that is making you worry about what you’re going to do if you’re denied again. You can reduce your fears by making a plan.

That might include tapping into a savings account, but it might also include changing careers. A few tips for doing that when you’re older include:

  • Keep your skills fresh or learn something new
  • Start talking to people in your professional network
  • Revamp your resume and application materials
  • Consider industries where age is an advantage

No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen, and that accident could keep you from returning to work. If you’ve filed a disability claim and you are denied, all hope isn’t lost. Follow the tips on this list so you can worry less and increase your chances of getting the benefits you originally applied for.

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