If you're unable to work due to a long-term illness or injury, you might be dealing with the panic and anxiety of a denied disability claim. That's because around 65% of all claims are denied on the first application. Quite a few people, therefore, get that heart-dropping letter stating that their situation will not net them the financial support that they so badly need.

The most important thing to do when you get that letter is to take heart! In spite of the lengthy--and often frustrating--appeals process, your chances of receiving benefits are still quite good. However, there are a few steps you can take in the meantime to help improve your chances and also maintain your sanity.

Improve Your Information

With the wealth of information that a disability claim requires, it's possible that your application wasn't as good as it could have been. Vague responses to dates on your work history or medical office visits can create problems in the application process. This is the time when you should attempt to fix those issues.

You'll need to go over your application line by line and determine if you've been as complete and precise as possible. If not, it's important to contact the relevant agencies and obtain specific, factual information. This can take a great deal of time--try to break the process up over a week or more.

Audit Your Finances

It's common for people to worry less about their financial situation than they should after a disability claim is filed. After all, benefits are right around the corner. Unfortunately, the appeals process is slow--reconsideration can take significantly longer than six months to complete.

You'll want to take control of your finances as a result. Try to find all of the areas where you can spend less money while this process continues. Good places to look for savings include:

  • Food and entertainment costs
  • Utility plans
  • Automobile payments and maintenance

Obtain Your Counsel

It's not uncommon for people to go through the initial filing process without additional help. The application, while lengthy, can certainly be navigated by the average person. That said, once you've begun the appeals process, your opportunities for success become limited.

That's why professional help is so vital to the process. They'll ensure that you take full advantage of every step of the appeals process. You'll avoid mistakes that you might not even recognize if there wasn't an experienced attorney (like Bruce K Billman) in the room with you while you review your documents.

A claim denial isn't the end of the world. If you keep your wits about you, there's still a good chance that you'll come out of this process with the benefits that you deserve.