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Down and Out: What to Do When You Don’t Qualify for Social Security Disability

A disability affects every aspect of your life—your ability to work, your finances, and your personal and family circumstances. In addition to the many changes you face, you might also struggle to make ends meet.

In your effort to manage your expenses, you can turn to social security disability benefits. But what if you don’t think you qualify for this supplemental income? Learn below how you can handle your case, even if it’s complicated.

Work with a Disability Attorney

If you have a disability that clearly warrants social security benefits, you may be able to navigate the process on your own. However, many cases don’t fall into clear and well-defined categories.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) outlines qualifications for disability benefits. You may have researched your eligibility and determined that you don’t meet the conditions. If you find yourself in this situation, consider working with an attorney.

An attorney has more experience and knowledge regarding the particulars of social security disability. With his or her background in these cases, he or she helps you find any details or evidence you missed.

According to Chewning Legal, a Madison social security disability law firm, a legal professional can present your case in the best possible way since he or she knows what details to emphasize and what symptoms prove disability. An attorney also has experience handling expert witness who can downplay the severity of your injury or disability. You can trust a legal professional to cross-examine and counter these witnesses to protect you.

You might feel stressed, anxious, and frustrated due to your circumstances, but an attorney offers skilled and professional guidance through the process so you have a cohesive and compelling case.

Appeal Your Case

If you have already submitted a claim and the SSA denied it, don’t lose hope. In fact, the agency initially denies most claims. You might not have realized issues like lack of medical evidence, your current income, or failure to follow doctor’s orders affect your eligibility.

Thankfully, you have four chances to appeal: reconsideration, hearing, Appeals Council review, and Federal Court review. The appeal process can be tedious and time-consuming, but the time and effort will prove worthwhile if you can secure the supplemental income you need.

If you started your claim without legal aid, seek a disability attorney for your appeal. He or she can ensure you approach the situation in the best way possible—no matter where you find yourself in the appeal process. However, you must appeal within 60 days of your denial, so contact legal assistance as soon as possible.

This legal support can help you understand your options, even if it seems like you don’t have any. Don’t lose hope simply because your case seems daunting. Talk with a professional about your next step, especially if you choose to appeal.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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