If a disability is keeping you out of work, the denial of your Social Security Disability (SSD) claim can be a major letdown. The good news? You are far from the end of the process. Here are four things you can do to keep a positive mindset and maximize your chances of getting approved in the future:

  1. Find out why your claim was denied: Your denial letter should contain information about why the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your claim. Some denials are due to lack of documentation while others are the result of preventable errors. In some cases, the SSA may claim your disability is not severe enough, or that you could adjust to other work. All of this information is valuable, as it shows you what evidence you will need to prove your disability going forward.
  2. File a written request for reconsideration: Many people give up after the initial denial. Some file a second initial claim. If you need benefits, these are both mistakes. The next step you take should be filing a written request for reconsideration. You have 60 days to do so after your initial claim denial. This is a good point in the process to enlist the services of an experienced SSD attorney.
  3. Continue to document your disability: The process of documenting your disability must continue if you intend to appeal the denied claim. Keep records of all doctor visits, diagnoses and prescriptions. Take personal notes about how your disability affects your day-to-day life. This information will prove crucial in the SSD appeals process.
  4. Be prepared for further disappointment: You may or may not achieve success upon your first appeal. If you do not, take heart, you are still early in the process. Many claimants finally have their benefits approved in the later stages of the appeals process.

One more thing you can do after an SSD claim denial is keep a positive mindset. The overwhelming majority of SSD claims are denied at the initial stage. Denials are very common and you have multiple opportunities to prove your disability going forward.